Published On: Fri, Dec 21st, 2012

Killings of polio workers condemned by international agencies, Pakistan polio immunization program continues

Photo/Fast Track via wikimedia commons

Photo/Fast Track via wikimedia commons

Pakistan is one of three remaining polio endemic countries on the planet, so it was disastrous blow when suspected militants attacked polio vaccination workers, killing nine, some teenage girls,  and temporarily halting the vaccination campaign.

This prompted The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF, in addition to the Government of Pakistan to condemn the attacks, which deprive Pakistan’s most vulnerable populations – especially children – of basic life-saving health interventions.

The attacks took place in several locations in Pakistan – Gadap, Landi, Baldia and Orangi towns of Karachi city, Sindh Province and Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. Those killed were among thousands who work selflessly across Pakistan to eradicate polio, according to a Global Polio Eradication Initiative news release Wednesday.

Immunizations were halted in some parts of Pakistan and the U.N. suspended its field participation everywhere until better security was arranged for its workers.

Fortunately, the Pakistani police are now guarding the polio workers, allowing this important work to continue.

What has prompted the killings of innocent health workers?

A rumor spreading through the country.

According to an NBC News report yesterday, some say that the government’s anti-polio campaign is a ruse by the Americans to sterilize or spy on Muslims.

One Pakistani lawyer said, “These vaccines are meant to destroy our nation. The [polio] drops make men less manly, and make women more excited and less bashful. Our enemies want to wipe us out.”

Some of this stems from the Dr. Shakeel Afridi-CIA connection.

Earlier this year, the Taliban wouldn’t allow polio vaccinations in the region until US drone strikes in Pakistan ceased.

As of September, Pakistan had seen 35 cases of polio, a drop from the 89 cases seen during the same period last year.

Two-thirds of all cases in known worst-performing districts in Balochistan and FATA, affecting particularly Pashtun populations




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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. Pakistan: Bombing kills 15 near polio vaccination centre, Ban Ki-moon condemns | Outbreak News Today says:

    […] against polio workers is not a new phenomenon. We’ve reported on militant attacks on polio workers as far back as 2012, and last week, we see the violence […]

  2. Pakistan reports first polio case of 2013, Nigeria goes two months without a case - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] is facing extraordinary challenges in the fight against polio as polio vaccination workers have been the target of violence in recent […]

  3. Three Nigerian journalists arrested for inciting violence against polio workers - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] is a common sentiment among influential Muslim leaders not only in Nigeria, but also Pakistan. One Pakistani lawyer said, ”These vaccines are meant to destroy our nation. The [polio] drops make men less manly, and […]

  4. A dozen Nigerian polio workers killed in Kano state - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] of the other polio endemic nations, Pakistan, has been battling similar violence against polio workers where groups like the Taliban and others see the anti-polio campaigns as an American tactic against […]

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