Acknowledgments
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xi Acknowledgments I am deeply grateful for the extraordinary openness of people working at all levels of the Polio Eradication Initiative. The World Health Organization staff in Islamabad was particularly welcoming, and my work benefited enormously from the help and support of everyone there, particularly Dr. Obaid ul Islam, Dr. Nima Abid, and Dr. Javed Iqbal. I offer heartfelt thanks to these people for allowing me to work inside polio eradication , and for giving me the freedom to draw my own conclusions about what I saw. Many people in the Islamabad office taught and mentored me, but the analysis I present in this book is my own, and they bear no responsibility for the observations I present or the conclusions I draw here. This work would not have been possible without the cooperation of the government of Pakistan. I am grateful for their permission to participate in polio eradication activities both in Islamabad and in three districts in Pakistan . In each of these districts, I was assisted by many people, but the exceptional support of the vaccinators Muhammad Kamran, Faisal Nadeem, and Sajjad Haider in arranging interviews deserves special mention. Beyond Pakistan, officials at the World Health Organization in Geneva and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta got me past their security checkpoints and answered my pointed questions with candor and thoughtfulness. Many anthropologists had assured me that these officials, who had nothing to gain by my knowing their business, would never grant interviews. Contrary to this dim anthropological view of the secretive development official, nearly everyone I spoke to responded to my intrusive and sometimes obtuse questioning with honesty and humor. For this I am grateful. If the analysis I present here is critical of the Polio Eradication Initiative —and in many ways it is—it is because the openness and honesty I encountered deserves an open, honest response. The critiques I present here are given in the spirit of a colleague who believes in what these global health workers at all levels are aiming to accomplish, and who hopes that her thoughts on the subject may make their work a bit more productive xii Chasing Polio in Pakistan in the future. I have taken advantage of my position as someone entirely outside the system to say things that people who work for global health agencies may not have the freedom to. In doing so, my aim is not to create problems for those who were so honest and open with me, but to assist them in their work by bringing some problems to light and suggesting possible ways forward. I deeply hope that proves to be the case. In Pakistan, I benefited enormously from the help of a supportive extended family. Abdul Rehman, Khatoon Bibi, and Shamshad took care of my son better than I could have, cooked my meals, washed and ironed my clothes, walked with me to the bazaar at night when I decided I needed ice cream, and made sure I was entirely free to work in a way I am certain I never will be again. And they made it clear they did it out of love. Nizakat and Farzhana too, along with their children, Hadia, Wishal, and Ali, overwhelmed me with support and love. Their apartment was in truth not large enough for the five of them, yet they embraced my frequent and lengthy stays. In the company of the beautiful, deeply moral, and wickedly funny Fari, I was always entirely at home. Fari, you’ve helped me more than you know, and if I could transport you to a house with a yard next door to me always, I would. My research assistant, Tanveer Khan, was an invaluable help. His influence extends throughout this book. He, his wife, Rosina, and their three children welcomed me into their lives. So did Rabina Bibi, Samina Bibi, and Shabina Mumtaz. Shakeel ur Rehman also provided useful assistance. It was not only in Pakistan that I was on the receiving end of extraordinary hospitality. In Geneva, Jamie Guth, Paul Bilgen, and Brendan Bilgen opened their lovely home to Kaif and me, and Paul spent many hours helping us discover Geneva. My time there was very special. Part of what made my stay in Geneva so lovely was that I spent it with my mother, Sally Closser, who traveled around the world on short notice to watch my son so that I could get my work done. The physical and moral support that she...


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