77-year-old ‘Dadi’ does her part in Polio eradication by administering drops to children in Pishin

A 77-year-old elderly community health worker in Killi Shadezai in Balochistan’s Pishin District is doing her part in eradicating in Polio from Pakistan by vaccinating children in her small town. Hoora Bibi, known as Dadi, has been changing hearts and minds in an area notorious for suspicion and violence against polio workers. Dadi has convinced many other women to join the campaign as polio workers.

Every day she wraps a shawl around herself and sets out into town with four items in her handbag: rosary beads, a handkerchief, chalk and polio drops.

“A man in my village was not vaccinating his children for 13 years, but when he saw me knocking on his door with polio vaccines in my bag,  he couldn’t refuse. Since then, he has started vaccinating all his children,” said Dadi.

Efforts to eradicate the disease in Pakistan have been undermined by militants and fundamentalists, who say immunization is a foreign ploy to sterilize Muslim children or a cover for Western spies.

But despite all the odds, Dadi, her white shawl concealing everything but her eyes, goes about her job to vaccinate the more than 250 children under the age of five who live in her town.

Hoori Bibi went to school until the fifth standard, and never studied much English or Math. She is well-known in her village for her vaccination style, true to her nickname and with all the authority of a real grandmother.

Source: Arab News PK