UN agencies condemn attacks on health workers in PakistanListen /
At least six people working on a polio vaccination campaign have been reported shot dead in several locations in Pakistan, including Karachi city, Sindh Province and Peshawar.
In a joint statement, WHO and UNICEF say such attacks deprive Pakistan’s most vulnerable populations – especially children – of basic life-saving health interventions. The two UN agencies call on the leaders of the affected communities and everyone concerned to do their utmost to protect health workers and create a secure environment so that they can meet the health needs of the children of Pakistan.
Those killed were among thousands who work selflessly across Pakistan to eradicate polio.
Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus that can cause permanent paralysis in a matter of hours. Safe and effective vaccines protect children from the disease.
The Government of Pakistan and the affected provinces have temporarily suspended the vaccination campaign due to concerns over safety of health workers.
Currently polio remains endemic in only three countries: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.