Jawahir Habib

Communication for Development Officer, Unicef -Pakistan

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How do you think its possible to sustain interest of communities in Polio eradication in regions of conflict ,war and famine ?

Global polio eradication is the largest Public health initiative . Through decades it has prevented hundreds and thousands of children from paralysis ..Millions of dollars have been invested in the project with a dream of Polio being second disease that is eradicated from the world. However in regions like Pakistan Polio is on rise despite of 99% of success globally. Pak-Afg a region where the health system and community is over burdened with conflict and natural disasters. Communities do not see Polio eradication as a priority and the initiative is more of donor driven, how is it possible to travel the last mile and cover the final inch in polio eradication.

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    Sep 10 2011: Disease control should definitely be part of their grade-school curriculum. Physical education should involve a "how to not get sick" course.

    If it's demonized in the eyes of the children they'll grow up one day & realize that 99% of the world is already polio free & that they should jump on the bandwagon.

    Governments evolve over the course of generations. It takes time & education.
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    Sep 12 2011: At one point in time a group of average people who had seen the destruction and horrors of war came together to create the Geneva Conventions and the Red Cross (which spread into other health services in various countries). It would be my hope that this generation could make a similar contribution which established that all children are citizens of the world and thus under all of our protection in the same ways as the Geneva Conventions offer protection in war to many groups. Being fed and given vaccinations should be a right of all children. Any country or group which interferes with these provisions should face the condemnation of all civilized people. Anyone who tries to perpetrate war or crimes under the guise of healthcare workers should also be stigmatized.
    While I understand that there are issues surrounding child soldiers I think we could begin to give these protections to human beings who are under five years of age ensuring their brain development and initial survival. As we succeed we can increase the age of protection year by year until we have covered and ensured their survival and contribution to our planet.