news

She sneaks into homes - to secretly vaccinate children.

A woman in Pakistan is risking her own life by secretly vaccinating children against the orders of the Taliban.

Pakistan is one of the only countries in the world where polio has not been eradicated.

It is home to one of the most infected water supplies on earth — and after nearly succeeding in eradicating the disease three years ago, it has made a resurgence.

polio 423
A health worker administering the Polio vaccination. Image: Screenshot via SBS.

As Taliban propaganda continues to spread the notion that vaccinations are a form of biological warfare from the west, people fear their children will be killed by this “American weapon”.

Sadly, polio has no cure, and prevention is the only way to stop it.

vaccination vigilante
A mother helping her daughter with Polio walk. Image: Screenshot via SBS

One brave woman has decided she isn’t going to stand by while children live increasingly short lives full of pain — and lose the use of their limbs — due to this unfounded belief.

That’s why Fahrina Touseef, aka the ‘Vaccination Vigilante’, travels door-to-door in Pakistan’s capital to administer vaccines to children while their parents aren’t looking.

ADVERTISEMENT
vaccination vigilante
End Polio Now. Image: SBS

Ms Touseef travels with two armed police to carry out her mission.

She delivers the anti-polio drops to children in the street and occasionally enters homes if there are no adults around.

“We will go to any extent to vaccinate a child. No matter what we must vaccinate every child,” she told a reporter on SBS’ Dateline.

vaccination vigilante
A health worker administering the anti-Polio drops to a baby at the train station. Image: Screenshot via SBS

But Ms Touseef’s work could have her killed, so strong is local opposition to the polio vaccine.

One mother believes said she believes the polio vaccine is “bio-warfare” and believes health workers should be killed.

“If you are defending something and for your defence you kill someone, that is right… they are killing our generations by giving the polio vaccine,” she told Dateline.

Another family believed the vaccine would make their daughters infertile — now the two young girls, Maheen and Mariam, are both infected with polio.

ADVERTISEMENT
vaccination vigilante
These two young girls have polio. Image: Screenshot via SBS

While one of the daughters has a hope of walking, the younger of the two is unlikely to ever gain use of her legs.

This is why Ms Touseef continues her work.

“One day, when Pakistan is free from polio, I will have more time for my family,” she said.

“But right now, my other children need me.”

vaccination vigilante
The ‘Vaccination Vigilante’. Image: Screenshot via SBS

To date, 80 people have been killed trying to administer the polio vaccine, including two of Ms Touseef’s workers. During the filming of the documentary, four more health workers were killed by the Taliban.

Read more:

Tom and Felicity Harley say this vaccination could save your child’s life.

Anti-vaxxers say vaccination is the same as rape.

“I’ve seen what happens when you don’t vaccinate your child.”

Remember that time you got Polio? No, you don’t. Because you got vaccinated.

Report: Child welfare payments should be dependent on vaccinations.

Do you have a news tip? Email us at [email protected]

[post_snippet id=324408]

00:00 / ???