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Gunmen in northwest Pakistan kill polio worker, two policemen | Health News

Gunmen on bikes open hearth on a body of workers throughout a door-to-door inoculation marketing campaign in North Waziristan.

Gunmen have attacked a polio vaccination workforce in northwest Pakistan, killing a well being employee and two policemen – the newest deaths in a harmful marketing campaign to eradicate the illness.

The attackers driving bikes opened hearth on Tuesday throughout a door-to-door inoculation marketing campaign in North Waziristan, a district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The victims had been collaborating in a United Nations-funded marketing campaign that began on Monday in areas at excessive threat for outbreaks, native administrator Shahid Ali Khan stated. The marketing campaign aims to inoculate greater than 12.6 million youngsters.

A passer-by was additionally wounded in the assault, stated Aziz Ullah, an area police official. The attackers fled the scene.

Violence in the mountainous border areas of Pakistan has been on the rise because the Taliban took again energy final yr in Afghanistan, with Pakistani safety officers usually being the goal.

Pakistan is one in all two nations, alongside Afghanistan, the place polio remains endemic, however the place vaccination groups have been focused by armed attackers. Many polio staff and safety officers guarding them have been killed in such assaults since 2012.

The opposition to all types of inoculation grew in Pakistan after the CIA organised a pretend vaccination drive to assist monitor down al-Qaeda’s former chief Osama Bin Laden in town of Abbottabad. Bin Laden was killed throughout a US army operation in that metropolis in 2011.

Efforts to eradicate polio have additionally been hampered by conspiracy theories unfold by non secular teams, which declare the vaccination programmes are a part of a Western conspiracy to sterilise youngsters or that vaccines include pig fats and are subsequently banned for Muslims.

In 2021, Pakistan reported just one case, elevating hopes it was near eradicating polio. In April this yr, nonetheless, it reported the first case of the debilitating neurodegenerative illness in 15 months.

Since April, Pakistan has registered 11 new polio circumstances – all in North Waziristan, the place mother and father usually refuse to inoculate youngsters. The outbreak has been a a blow to the nation’s efforts to eradicate the illness, which may trigger extreme paralysis in youngsters.

Before this week, Pakistan’s well being authorities had carried out three nationwide anti-polio drives this yr – in January, March and in May.

During the March marketing campaign, gunmen in northwestern Pakistan shot and killed a feminine polio employee as she was returning house after a day of vaccinations.

And in January, gunmen shot and killed a police officer offering safety for polio vaccination staff, additionally in the nation’s northwest.

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