Solo Vaccinators

“Her slender hand sheathed in a black glove, Saira Nizamuddin gathered the fabric of her full-length abaya as she stepped across an alley strewn with rocks and trash…”

The poetic lede opens a story on the women health workers carrying out the polio vaccination campaign in Pakistan. Despite the threat of terrorist attacks (more than 100 health workers and guards have been killed), the women work alone and usually in their own neighborhoods. (Armed guards did more to scare people away from vaccination than to protect the health workers.)

The female teams are now covering nearly 40% of Karachi’s 2.2 million children younger than 5—progress that raises hopes once more for polio’s elimination.
The Los Angeles Times

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