Polio eradication efforts not reaching everyone in PakistanListen /
Polio will not be eradicated in Pakistan unless the national programme reaches out to parents from high risk groups such as low income Pashtun communities.
That's the conclusion of a study published this month in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization.
Charles Appel reports.
The study surveyed just over 1,000 parents of children under five years of age in Karachi between September and October last year.
It found that 41% of them said they had never heard of polio and that just over 11 said they refused to let their children be vaccinated.
According to the lead author of the study, Dr. Anita Zaidi of Aga Khan University in Pakistan, parents who refused vaccination against polio were from low-socio economic Pashtun families.
Dr. Zaidi adds that high income families of all ethnic backgrounds refused the vaccination because they believed it was harmful or unnecessary.
Pakistan is one of only three countries where polio is still endemic.
The other two are Afghanistan and Nigeria.
Charles Appel, United Nations