Wednesday 10 December 2014

Islamic extremists for polio

Pakistan has recorded its highest number of new polio cases for 15 years, and is now one of only three countries in the world where the disease remains endemic. Health officials say the main reason is the killing of health workers carrying out immunisation programmes by Islamic extremists.

The extremists say the health workers are spies and that the immunisations are a Western plot to sterilise Muslims. They claim the US used a fake vaccination programme to track down and kill Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan in 2011.

The latest murder happened in the north-eastern city of Faisalabad where a 40 year old man was shot down by attackers on a motorcycle. Deaths among immunisation workers or police guarding them now number more than 60 over the last two years.

One result is that the World Health Organization has imposed travel restrictions, so that all Pakistanis must now carry proof of vaccination before going abroad. (See also by blogs of 24 February and 3 March.) 

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