Polio vaccine Media for medical/Getty Images

Aiutare le eroine della lotta contro la poliomielite

NEW YORK – Il mese scorso, governi e altri donatori di tutto il mondo si sono impegnati a stanziare 1,2 miliardi di dollari per aiutare a portare la lotta trentennale contro la poliomielite oltre la linea del traguardo. All’apice dell’epidemia, la polio causava 350.000 casi di paralisi nei bambini ogni anno. L’anno scorso, sono stati segnalati soltanto 37 casi, mentre quest’anno, fino ad oggi, il numero ammonta a sei.  

Per quanto questi risultati siano importantissimi, la vittoria sulla polio non è ancora definitiva, e un fattore in particolare – il ruolo delle vaccinatrici, le operatrici sanitarie addette alle vaccinazioni – sarà determinante per il successo dell’impresa.  

Da tempo le donne sono in prima linea nello sforzo globale volto a debellare definitivamente la polio. In luoghi come le aree tribali del Pakistan, ai vaccinatori viene spesso negato l’ingresso in una casa sconosciuta, mentre le operatrici sanitarie possono accedervi e somministrare i vaccini antipolio ai bambini più vulnerabili, insieme ad altre vaccinazioni di routine e servizi sanitari di base.     

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