So I’ve had my polio vaccination and am free to travel once Pakistan’s travel embargo comes into force next month. Well, once I’ve waited the requisite four weeks anyway. Fair to say it’s caused some consternation among expats with summer holiday plans. For me it was only a mild inconvenience, and given the way Pakistan has been fingered for the outbreak in Syria last year it seems prudent to try to stop the virus spreading further.
The fear though is that this is going to look like international sanctions slapped on Pakistan for the good of the rest of the world, reinforcing the idea that the polio campaign is for the benefit of the West. It is a perception that the WHO and Unicef have already failed to correct.
And worse, in a country where the state struggles to deliver the basics of health care, there is the risk that Pakistan will concentrate on vaccinating its travellers and forget all about the children who are at risk at home.