How far would you go to save a child?
As a frontline polio volunteer, Gulnaz is one of 100,000 trained Lady Health Workers, a unique group of female volunteers who are going to extraordinary lengths to wipe out the disease in Pakistan.
Pakistan is one of just three countries left where children still contract polio regularly.
That’s why the dedication of Lady Health Workers like Gulnaz is so important.
Every day she carries a heavy cool box of vaccines around Karachi, immunising newborn babies and children. She’s in a race to stop the disease, as any child not vaccinated becomes a chance for this deadly virus to survive and spread.
As she treks door-to-door in extreme heat, damp or cold weather, Gulnaz also faces harassment and threats in her attempts to vaccinate children.
“Some Pashtu families are reluctant to accept the vaccine so I dedicate special time to visit them. As a Pashtu speaker I can enlighten parents in Landhi, (a Pashtun area in Karachi) about how polio drops can keep the virus away from their children.”
Despite difficult conditions, the Lady Health Workers are still not short of volunteers. Every day, women like Gulnaz risk their own safety and walk for miles to bring the polio vaccines to the poorest and most remote regions of their country.
“I go to bus stops, railway stations, schools. I reach out to influential people to get their support. And I do everything I can to educate resistant parents.”
Full of local knowledge and trusted by her community, Gulnaz and her Lady Health Workers are critical to the effort to end polio and protect Pakistan’s 35 million under-fives who are most at risk.
“Every time I empty a vaccine vial I feel energized – it means 18 children have just been protected from a lifetime of disability. They’ll grow up healthy and strong and hopefully become Pakistan’s future doctors, engineers and teachers. It’s such a sweet feeling.”
The efforts of Gulnaz and her fellow Lady Health Workers have contributed to a 70% drop in cases this year in former high-incidence areas of Pakistan. However, if we want this good trend to continue we can’t stop now.
That’s why we are supporting the One Last Push campaign, which is getting behind volunteers like Gulnaz who are working tirelessly to drive polio out of their local communities.
Sign our polio promise today to make sure her efforts, and all the courageous women like her, don’t go unnoticed.
You can also spread the word and share this article with friends so that more people hear about the Lady Health Workers and One Last Push to finish polio off forever.
Latest posts by Silversurfer's Editor (see all)
- Are ‘female equality’ and ‘feminism’ the same thing? - May 22, 2018
- Step Aboard - May 21, 2018
- In 1961, Hull did something extraordinary - May 21, 2018
- Time to make ‘living the dream’ a reality - May 21, 2018
- Win a wonderful holiday for two to three iconic Italian cities! - May 21, 2018
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!