Bio-cultural medium: vaccines and polio prevention (Pakistan)
The prevention of infectious diseases by universal vaccination has been one of modern medicine’s great achievements. Immunisation is one of the most successful health interventions and one of the most effective in cost/benefits, and every year prevents between 2 and 3 million deaths from diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and measles.
The eradication of polio and measles is at an advanced stage. In 2015 86% of babies received the three doses of the poliomyelitis vaccine, which has the advantage that anyone can administer it because it is by mouth.
In large populations such as India and Pakistan —which continue to grow rapidly— vaccination campaigns are costly and extremely complicated. At the end of 2010, India started a project of mass inoculation against polio, which mobilised 2.3 million vaccinators from door to door, which allowed for the declaration of eradication in 2014.
Poliomyelitis only persists in three countries, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria, where it is at an advanced stage of eradication. In Pakistan, the National Emergency Plan to declare the country free of the disease has already controlled its spread out of the last three regions where it persists: around Karachi, in Quetta and in the Khyber-Peshawar corridor.