"Health workers are back on the streets of Peshawar in Pakistan, defying death threats so they can vaccinate children against polio," Al Jazeera reports. "Nine of their colleagues were killed last month, and now they have been given extra security," the news service notes. "Despite the risks, many health workers say they must carry out this important task," Al Jazeera's Osama Bin Javaid states in an accompanying video. "Last year, 58 cases of polio were reported in Pakistan," the news service adds (1/20).
In a related article in the Telegraph, the newspaper's Neil Tweedie interviews Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, about his efforts to eradicate polio. "The abolition of the disease will be a headline-grabber, spurring countries on to greater efforts," the newspaper writes, noting, "The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will spend $1.8 billion in the next six years to accomplish that goal, almost a third of the global effort." Speaking about the attacks on health care workers in Pakistan, Gates said, "It's not going to stop us succeeding. ... It does force us to sit down with the Pakistan government to renew their commitments, see what they're going to do in security and make changes to protect the women who are doing God's work and getting out to these children and delivering the vaccine," according to the newspaper (1/18).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.