Polio: The Odyssey of Eradication
How did an innocuous campaign to rid the world of a crippling disease become a hostage in geopolitical wars? Why do parents refuse to vaccinate their children against polio? And why have poorly paid health workers, trudging from door to door delivering drops of the vaccine, been assassinated?
In 1988, the World Health Organization launched what was intended to be a twelve-year campaign to wipe out the polio virus and end the disease for all time. Seventeen years after that deadline, and several billion dollars over budget, the campaign continues to grind on, vaccinating millions of children and hoping that each new year might see an end to it. A surprisingly resilient virus, an unexpectedly weak vaccine, uninterested governments and public indifference in those countries still afflicted by polio, added to the vagaries of global politics, have meant that success remains elusive.
Drawing on detailed interviews with key players and reporting from the frontlines of the war against this potentially deadly disease, Thomas Abraham records the mind-boggling story of one of the world's most ambitious health campaigns.
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