In yet another shocking incident from Pakistan, gunmen in Pakistan’s north-west have killed a health worker responsible for polio vaccinations, raising the total number of polio vaccination workers killed this month to five. The latest anti-polio campaigner to die was gunned down in the north-west Bajaur district overnight on Monday, police officials said.
It is not a first of such news; Muslim fundamentalists have been always against vaccination saying it ‘Haram’ (forbidden). According to the World Health Organization Pakistan is one of only three countries to have failed in its bid to stop the transmission of polio, the main reason the community is against vaccination. Countries with Muslim-majority populations have experienced outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases such as polio, diphtheria, measles, tetanus and pertussis in recent years.
The most shocking news is that there are a stringent opposition and anti-vaccine campaign staging even in Kerala, India’s highest literate state. The state’s Malappuram district has reported several incidents of attack on medical staff administering Measles-Rubella vaccine to the children. While several primary health centres were attacked by a group armed of Islamic fundamentalists, doctors monitoring the camping says that the staff often receive death threats.