Fri, 19 Aug 2022

Islamabad [Pakistan], July 3 (ANI): Unidentified armed men opened fire at polio workers in Pakistan's Mir Ali Tehsil leaving another vaccinator severely injured.

A police report stated that Sher Shah was attacked in the TT Madakhel area.

Shah was shifted to tehsil Mir Ali hospital and later referred to Peshawar, The Tribune newspaper reported.

A similar incident took place on Tuesday where two policemen and a polio worker were killed in an attack in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

A polio team escorted by police was administering polio vaccines to kids in the North Waziristan district when the incident occurred, Xinhua News Agency reported."Unknown gunmen opened fire at the polio team and fled the scene. A kid who was receiving drops also got injured in the attack," the sources said.

Pakistan is one of two countries, together with Afghanistan, where polio is still endemic, though cases numbers have dropped drastically in recent years.

Pakistani officials reported an eighth wild poliovirus case of 2022 on June 3. This most recent case is a 20-month-old boy paralyzed by wild polio.

Polio transmission is highly active in certain core districts of Pakistan, including Karachi (Sindh), Peshawar (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), and the Quetta block in Balochistan. Polio cases have also been identified in northern Sindh and Southern Punjab.

A large proportion of cases are among Pashto-speaking populations.

The country has failed to eliminate polio which reflects the acute lack of commitment and obligation on the part of the government and society toward saving children from the menace of this devastating disease.

The problem is rooted in financial and organizational deficits, as well as active conflict and insecurity, which has caused the persistent failure of effective immunization campaigns in the country.

Pakistan and Afghanistan have faced significant security challenges along the border, including targeted attacks on polio workers and security guards and an absolute ban on polio immunization in certain areas.

Diffidence in the region is often listed as a significant hindrance to polio eradication, reported Global Start View.

Many polio workers and security personnel have lost their lives in the past years during polio vaccination campaigns, and such incidents have been one of the major reasons that polio is still endemic in Pakistan.

According to media reports, as many as 70 polio workers have been killed in terrorist attacks since 2012, mainly in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, reported Global Strat View.

The victims of these attacks include frontline workers, international consultants, program staff, and even police officers providing security. (ANI)

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