The United Nations has denounced as “despicable” the gun-and-grenade attack on a police van guarding polio workers in Dera Ismail Khan, in which five policemen were reportedly injured.
“It’s not the first time that we’ve seen attacks on health workers; It’s not the first time we’ve seen attacks on people trying to do polio vaccination in Pakistan and other places in the world,” the UN Secretary-General’s spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said in response to a question at the regular noon briefing at UN Headquarters in New York.
He added, “Sometimes we’re faced with a situation where you really run out of words, but it is despicable to target and attack people who are going out in communities in extremely challenging circumstances, trying to protect the lives of infants and babies from a preventable disease that is almost wiped out; except for a handful of countries, and that all too often is due to a security situation where people actively work against health workers.”
Pakistan is one of the only two countries — the other being Afghanistan — where polio is still prevalent despite relentless vaccination drives.
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