No polio vaccination for you and you and you

News from Baluchistan Province – yet again men with guns have murdered polio workers in a region where polio is endemic.

Pakistan is one of three countries in the world, along with Afghanistan and Nigeria, where polio remains endemic. But even as Nigeria has managed to halt any rise in new cases, the virus has spread at alarming rates in Pakistan, with 260 new cases reported so far this year, compared with 64 at the same point in 2013, according to Global Polio Eradication Initiative statistics.

Two hundred sixty – I didn’t know that. That’s appalling. Polio is a horrible disease.

Immunization workers have repeatedly come under fire by Pakistani militants, and that appeared to be the case again on Wednesday, though no group claimed responsibility. Militants have widely viewed immunization workers as potential spies and agents of the West.

They have reasons to think so, as that link confirms. Which was the worst threat to the people of Pakistan – bin Laden, or polio? I don’t know.

The vaccination campaign in Quetta and the surrounding district was immediately halted, but officials said it would continue in other districts of Baluchistan.

“Three women and one man died in the attack,” Noor Baksh Mengal, the police official in charge of the neighborhood where the killings took place, said by telephone. “Three other females workers are also wounded.”

They were on their way to meet up with their security detail.

In most cases, however, health workers remain vulnerable to militant attacks even with a security detail. Baluchistan and northwestern regions, like Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province and the tribal areas, have seen both the most intense violence against health workers and the biggest rise in polio cases.

An ongoing military campaign against militants in the North Waziristan tribal region has factored in as well, causing a huge flood of refugees out of an area that had many polio cases.

And polio is contagious – more contagious, if I have my facts right, than Ebola.

It’s an ongoing nightmare.


  1. Blanche Quizno says

    Who came up with the brilliant idea for disguising enemy combatants etc. as health workers?? That’s got to be some heinous war crime, for all the damage it does in the developing world. Imagine if you felt at risk going to the doctor, because some doctors were actually undercover police officers looking for evidence to lock people up. I mean, it’s just gross!

    Typically, in countries where these horrible diseases are still commonplace enough that people can *see* the lingering damage they cause, getting the immunization is a point of pride and considered a status symbol of sorts. How shameful that the US government exploited that beneficial societal attitude in order to pursue an assassination agenda. Gah, how I hate it…

  2. says

    No prob; their deity will clearly ensure that only people who deserve it will become infected.
    The little kids?
    Hey, they must have done *something* to warrant it, and/or they’ll be compensated in the next life for their suffering in this one.

  3. sigurd jorsalfar says

    For some in Pakistan every single problem or injustice must be blamed on outside forces.

    For some in every country on earth every single problem or injustice must be blamed on outside forces – making your statement an utter banality, Decker.

  4. Donnie says

    In a cruel, eye for an eye world, i want cosmic justic in wishinh those fuckers who killed the polio aide workers, and deprevaing immunizations of others, contract polio and spread it throughout their camp to the other fuckers.

  5. Decker says

    For some in every country on earth every single problem or injustice must be blamed on outside forces – making your statement an utter banality, Decker.

    To the point where every single country on earth kills polio workers?

    Only in Pakistan has it become “banal” to kill polio workers.

    this isn’t the first time.

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