Monday, 17 June 2013

Muslim fundamentalists against Polio vaccine

Opposition from Muslim fundamentalists is the reason Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria are the only countries still affected by the polio virus.

In Pakistan and Afghanistan, the Taliban has issued fatwas opposing polio vaccination as an attempt to avert Allah's will.
Islamic militants also try to block polio vaccination campaigns by portraying them as a conspiracy to sterilize people and reduce the world's Muslim population.
Militants have kidnapped, beaten and killed many people in Pakistan and Afghanistan linked to polio vaccination programs. The head of  Pakistan's vaccination campaign in Bajaur Agency was also assassinated.
This is the most recent incident ( June 2013) where a gunmen killed two anti-polio workers in Pakistan.
Many such attacks have taken place in the past also.
Seven Pakistan aid workers - including six women - executed by Taliban for 'distributing polio vaccine'

In the early 2000s Islamic religious leaders in northern Nigeria advised their followers not to have their children vaccinated with oral polio vaccine. The boycott caused cases of polio to arise not only in Nigeria but also in neighboring countries. Nigeria reported over 20,000 measles cases and nearly 600 deaths from measles from January through March 2005. In 2006 Nigeria accounted for over half of all new polio cases worldwide. Outbreaks continued thereafter; for example, at least 200 children died in a late-2007 measles outbreak in Borno State.


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