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Dear all

I have recently come across an interesting story about the polio vaccination in Pakistan.  In recent years, the number of wild poliovirus cases has shot up in the country.  A big issue is the vaccination programme, which is not particularly welcomed in some regions due to extreme religious and dogmatic views and suspicion of an American 'conspiracy' behind the shots.  So those courageous workers that try to convince households to be vaccinated find their work to be unnecessarily difficult and even life-threatening.  Even when they are successful in vaccinating, records are not well kept (for follow-up shots) and it also leaves a large batch of others that aren't vaccinated, and so the high likelihood of spreading persists.  The following article gives more information on this:
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/apr/16/suspicion-slows-dangerous-work-to-eradicate-polio-in-pakistan

I'm emailing this group as my first thought was that there must be a network theoretic angle from which this problem could be approached - vaccinating the 'hubs' in the network, for example; or convincing the religious leaders (a type of hub) to vaccinate themselves, thereby influencing those around them to adopt.  Any ideas or references would be much appreciated.

Kind regards
Ebrahim

-----------------------------------
Dr Ebrahim Patel
Postdoctoral Research Assistant
Mathematical Institute 
University of Oxford 
Andrew Wiles Building, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter 
Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6GG 
Phone: +44(0)1865 611511 
Webpage: https://www.maths.ox.ac.uk/people/ebrahim.patel
Blog: http://ebrahimlpatel.wordpress.com/

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