Two Killed in Polio Vaccination Drive in Pakistan

A bomb killed two and injured 20 others during a polio vaccination drive in Pakistan. Pakistanis one of just three remaining states where polio remains endemic. An anti-Taliban group member and police officer comprised the fatalities. This is just the latest in a long campaign against aid workers, doctors, nurses, and public health officials working to try and eradicate the crippling disease in the region. The vaccinators, often relatively poor women, often work to inoculate local populations at great personal risk, usually travelling door-to-door in an attempt to reach as many children as possible.

Poliomyelitis, or polio, is an often fatal disease spread by the poliovirus. Once contracted, the disease is incurable, and can result in complete paralysis of the legs. The disease is easily preventable through a vaccine administered as oral drops.

The Independent – “When the authorities are unable to provide sufficient security, these women bear the brunt of the Taliban attacks. Last year, gunmen killed four female polio workers in the city of Karachi on the same day, and two women were killed in Peshawar, very close to where Monday morning’s bomb was detonated, apparently by remote control. In Nigeria, Islamist gunmen killed nine health workers in February.”

Read more here.

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