TechNet-21 - Forum

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  1. Deleted User
  2. Service delivery
  3. Sunday, 29 December 2013
Unknown gunmen on Saturday the 28th of December 2013 opened indiscriminate fire on entering a hospital and fled from the scene. Subsequently, one polio worker, Zahid Gul, was killed on the spot whereas ward orderly Niqab Khan and a woman sustained severe injuries. Meanwhile, policemen reached the site of incident and cordoned off the area while a search operation went underway to apprehend those responsible. Polio workers, including females, have been targeted in Matni earlier as well. No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but militants have killed several polio workers and police protecting them in recent months. Earlier, on Dec 21, unknown militants gunned down a polio worker in the Jamrud Tehsil area of Khyber Agency. Gunmen had attacked two separate polio teams in northwestern Pakistan, killing one polio worker and two police guards. Meanwhile, earlier on November 23, militants had also kidnapped teachers for supporting a polio drive, but they were later released following a jirga intervention. Pakistan is one of only three countries in the world where the polio virus is still endemic, but efforts to stamp out the crippling disease have been hit by repeated attacks on health teams. Officials blame the violence and suspicions about the vaccine for a surge in cases. According to the World Health Organisation, Pakistan recorded 72 cases of polio this year compared to 58 in 2012. Pakistan is one of only three countries in the world where the highly infectious crippling disease remains endemic. But opposition from militant groups has hampered efforts to immunise children, with vaccination teams murdered in some cases. Officials said the violence and suspicions about the vaccine were the reason for the increase in cases. Pakistan has reported 72 polio cases which is the highest in comparison to two other countries with the disease, as Nigeria has 50 cases and Afghanistan reported only nine during 2013. According to a global update for polio cases, Pakistan had 58 cases last year while Nigeria had 110 and Afghanistan 31. Six cases this year have been reported in the eastern province of Punjab, six in Sindh in the south and 10 in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. But by far the bulk of the infections – 50 – were in the lawless tribal areas along the Afghan border. The Pakistani Taliban banned polio vaccinations in the tribal region of Waziristan last year, alleging the campaign was a cover for espionage. Polio teams successfully immunised over 33 million children during the recent vaccination campaign, while 2.3 million children were recorded missed during the campaign. In most cases children were missed in the areas where the law and order situation was unfavourable, and where vaccination teams faced security threats. More than 47,000 children missed vaccination because of parental refusals. In August, health officials warned of the danger of a serious polio outbreak in the northwest, saying more than 240,000 children had missed vaccination because of the Taliban ban.


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