Attacks on United Nations health workers in Pakistan continued for a third straight day, even though their polio vaccination program had been suspended due to the violence. One Wednesday, a woman working on the eradication program and her driver were shot in the northwestern town of Charsadda, and several other polio workers in the same area were attacked, though they were injured. That's makes a total of seven deaths in the last three days, as Taliban terrorists have attempted to put a stop to the vaccination efforts.
Taliban leaders have accused the U.N. workers of being spies for the U.S. and have also spread rumors that the vaccines are actually part of the a Western plot to sterilize the Muslim population. Rumors have run rampant about previous U.N. health programs, but the distrust was raised higher after the CIA set up a fake vaccination program in Pakistan as part of its effort to catch Osama bin Laden. The rumors have severely hampered efforts to wipe out the disease in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria, the only three countries in the world where polio is considered "endemic."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.