While Pakistan remains one of the two countries still plagued by polio, the efforts and ordeal of country’s health workers, who face all sorts of hurdles to assure no child is left out while delivering vaccines, often go underappreciated. With the growing health risk, what worsened the polio crisis in Pakistan is the religious stigma attached to it.
The extremist religious rings stated that polio drops were actually “poisonous” rather than a vaccine and the campaigns were a cover for the US-led Western espionage. Bringing it under the religious influence, the process of eradication automatically slowed down, with people starting to react more resistantly towards it.
A number of polio workers were directly attacked and killed in this war against the deadly disease. However, despite their unconditional efforts against the weather challenges as well as the threats against their own lives – these heroes are unsung and uncelebrated.
A few days ago, a video of a man trying to conquer piles of snow to deliver vaccines went viral on social media. With the polio worker, named Irfanullah, being celebrated as a symbol of utmost resilience, the Prime Minister of Pakistan also personally appreciated him and lauded his efforts.
After being appreciated all across national media and social media platforms, the heroic efforts of the polio worker have also met the international eye. Hollywood heartthrob Ashton Kutcher shared the video, impressed by him as well.
Sharing the video, he wrote ‘This guy is a hero’ – and indeed he is.
The appreciation will definitely add to the strength of these heroes, who are fighting all challenges for a secure a healthy future for us – and it is the least we can do!
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