Thursday September 20, 2018

Polio Vaccination Team Members Killed in Pakistan

Pakistan is one of the few countries in the world where polio is still endemic, along with Afghanistan and Nigeria

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Relatives mourn a female anti-polio drive campaign worker who was shot to death by gunmen, at a hospital in Quetta, Pakistan, Jan. 18, 2018.
Relatives mourn a female anti-polio drive campaign worker who was shot to death by gunmen, at a hospital in Quetta, Pakistan, Jan. 18, 2018. VOA
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Two vaccination workers were killed and two were seriously wounded, officials said

Militants ambushed a polio vaccination team in a remote tribal region in Pakistan, killing two of the medical workers and seriously wounding another two, officials said Sunday.

The gunmen also attacked tribal police and the paramilitary Frontier Corps when they responded to the attack late Saturday, killing one paramilitary and wounding another.

ALSO READ: Detection of a rare strain of Polio in Pakistan’s Balochistan alarms authorities

Polio workers have come under attack on several occasions since it was revealed that the CIA used a polio vaccination campaign as a ruse to get information on Osama bin Laden, who was killed by U.S. commandos in Pakistan in 2011.Those revelations fed into claims by Islamic extremists that the vaccinations are part of a Western plot against Muslims.

A boy receives polio vaccine drops by anti-polio vaccination workers along a street in Quetta, Pakistan, Jan. 2, 2017.
A boy receives polio vaccine drops by anti-polio vaccination workers along a street in Quetta, Pakistan, Jan. 2, 2017. VOA

ALSO READ: World Polio Day: Anti-Polio drive in Balochistan kicks off Today

An official in Pakistan’s restive Mohmand Agency, Younus Khan, said two workers from the seven-member polio vaccination team went missing after the attack but later returned unharmed. He says security forces are still searching for the attackers.

Jamaatul Ahrar, a faction of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed the attack.

Khan said the bodies of the polio workers were handed over to relatives and their funeral will take place later in the day.

Provincial Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra condemned the attack, calling the polio workers heroes. VOA

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4 Million Kids Need Vaccination in Brazil

Health services in the neighboring country have collapsed amid economic and political turmoil, which has caused more than 1 million people to flee

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A child receives a measles vaccination in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 6, 2018. (VOA)

Brazil’s health officials say more than 4 million children still need the vaccination against measles.

More than 1,380 people have been infected in an outbreak linked to cases imported from Venezuela.

To stop the disease’s spread, Brazil’s Health Ministry launched a campaign this month to vaccinate all children between 1 and 5 — regardless of their vaccination history. It said Friday that 4.1 million children still had not been vaccinated as the campaign enters its final week.

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Brazil Health Ministry: 4 Million Kids Need Vaccinations. Flickr

Among the places with the lowest vaccination rates is Roraima, one of two border states with Venezuela where cases are concentrated.

Health services in the neighboring country have collapsed amid economic and political turmoil, which has caused more than 1 million people to flee.

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Tens of thousands have migrated to Brazil. (VOA)

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