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CDC Global
Health

New Polio Immunization Plan Will Reach 38.7 Million Children in Pakistan

A new polio vaccination program that will reach 38.7 million children under the age of 5 has launched today in Pakistan.

About 260,000 polio workers will be involved in the campaign, according to National Coordinator for Polio Eradication Dr. Rana Mohammad Safdar.

In 1988, polio affected 350,000 people — including in Europe, Canada, and the US. It's a horrific disease that can cause irreversible paralysis and even death.

Take action: Let's End This Deadly Disease!

Now, polio has been eradicated from all but three countries around the world: Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria. That means it is 99.9% eradicated. With just seven cases recorded worldwide in 2018, it makes the goal to end the disease truly within reach.

Health workers struggle to reach certain areas in Pakistan as, even escorted by police, are often attacked by militants, according to the Associated Press.

These attacks were made worse when it was discovered that CIA operatives disguised themselves as a fake hepatitis immunization program to search for Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, AP reported.

Read More: WTF Is Polio? 17 Facts About the Disease That We’re This Close to Eradicating

There are areas in Afghanistan that health workers also struggle to reach. The Taliban has made access difficult, but so have government forces.

New cases polio continue to shed light on the importance of vaccinating children.

Global Citizen campaigns on the eradication of polio through vaccination efforts around the world. You can take action here.