Pakistan suspends anti-polio drive after surge in attacks
The National Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) for polio, issued a red alert to all the provinces, directing them to stop the anti-polio campaign “for an indefinite period” to protect 270,000 polio field staff from attacks, an official of the health department said.
“The campaign to eradicate the crippling disease has been suspended, despite the recent reporting of two new polio cases in Pakistan’s northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa”, he added.
Pakistan is one of only three countries in the world where polio is still endemic.
The nationwide campaign was launched in all districts of the country on April 22 and Friday was the last catch-up day.
Reason behind suspension
Militant threats, deep-rooted superstition, and opposition to vaccination by some local clerics have prompted many parents to refuse to have their children vaccinated there.
Officials say unidentified gunmen targeted polio workers and police assigned to protect them in three separate attacks during the past week.
All of the attacks were in rural areas of the country including one attack close to the border with Afghanistan, where polio also remains endemic.
- Pakistani athlete Najma Parveen finishes last in Tokyo Olympics11:38 PM | 2 Aug, 2021
- Aamir Liaquat spotted rebuking Karachi traffic cop publicly in viral ...11:24 PM | 2 Aug, 2021
- UK court tells Pakistan's NAB to pay billions to Broadsheet by Aug 1310:16 PM | 2 Aug, 2021
- Falak takes Sarah on shopping spree (VIDEO)09:00 PM | 2 Aug, 2021
- Prince Charming - Mahira Khan's first look from upcoming webseries ...05:50 PM | 2 Aug, 2021
- Sharmila Faruqui lashes out at Ayeza Khan’s controversial scene ...05:21 PM | 2 Aug, 2021
- Stars who used apps to find love08:02 PM | 24 Jul, 2021
- World’s most powerful passports in 2021: Where does Pakistan stand?03:35 PM | 7 Jul, 2021
- 16 Pakistani universities among Asia's top 50002:36 PM | 8 Jun, 2021
- Famous figures who survived serious plane incidents07:21 PM | 29 May, 2021