Jon Krause

A guerra contra a poliomielite que o Paquistão pode vencer

LAHORE – Cresci no Paquistão nas décadas de 1980 e 1990 e os meus pais, como quaisquer outros pais, queriam que eu estivesse em forma, saudável e que tivesse o melhor começo de vida. Eu tive a sorte suficiente de ser criada no seio de uma família de classe média com boas instalações sanitárias e com água limpa. Também fui vacinada para evitar infecções potencialmente fatais, como a poliomielite e o sarampo.

Mas lembro-me das muitas crianças do meu bairro que não foram vacinadas. Essas experiências prematuras de crianças, que eu conhecia, a contraírem doenças, especialmente o poliovírus que é tão visivelmente debilitante, influenciaram a minha opinião em relação ao enorme valor que a boa saúde tem e ao poder das vacinas.

Eu agora vivo em Londres, mas as minhas raízes estarão sempre no Paquistão. Como directora da British Pakistan Foundation, ajudo filantropos da diáspora paquistanesa a investirem em projectos de desenvolvimento social sustentáveis e eficazes. Ao longo das últimas semanas, estive na minha cidade natal, Lahore, a segunda maior cidade do país, a discutir todos os assuntos, desde as próximas eleições até aos desafios da vida quotidiana. Na semana passada, visitei um orfanato na periferia da cidade, criado após o terramoto de 2005 que matou um número estimado de 75 mil pessoas. Fiquei impressionada e encorajada com o facto de cerca de quatro quintos das 85 crianças terem sido totalmente vacinadas.

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