First, do no harm.
First, don’t be evil.
It’s strange how easily a lot of people lose sight of that basic thought, or never entertain it in the first place.
What would be high on a list of harms not to do? Killing people who are working to prevent polio in a country where 35 children have been infected with polio this year, when nearly all other countries in the world are polio-free.
High high high on the list. One, polio is bad; very very bad. Immunizing people against it is an unqualified good. Two, people who are working to immunize children against polio are doing a good thing, and don’t deserve to be killed for doing it.
And yet, there are people who murder young women who are working to immunize children against polio in Pakistan, where 35 children have been infected with polio this year. The immunization campaign has been suspended in Karachi as a result.
Three women were killed and a man was wounded in two separate attacks on health workers in Karachi on Tuesday, said senior police superintendent police Imran Shaukat.
The team had received telephone calls warning workers they would regret helping the “infidel” campaign against polio, said health official Gul Naz, who oversees project in the area where the women were shot.
An anti-polio worker in Karachi was shot dead on Monday, the United Nations said.
In the northwestern city of Peshawar on Tuesday, gunmen on a motorbike shot a 17-year-old girl supervising an anti-polio campaign, said government official Javed Marwar.
She died of her wounds in hospital, a doctor said.
All of the victims were Pakistanis working with a U.N.-backed program to eradicate polio, which attacks the nervous system and can cause permanent paralysis within hours of infection.
It has been eradicated in all but a handful of countries but at least 35 children in Pakistan have been infected this year.
In Karachi, provincial Health Minister Saghir Ahmed said the government had told 24,000 polio workers it was suspending the anti-polio drive in the province.