KARACHI: After consecutive attacks on a United Nations doctor and a local community worker in July, polio eradication activities in Karachi have received a heavy set back.
Since the attacks, the World Health Organisation's (WHO) office in Karachi have remained closed, the campaign in balance, The Express Tribune learnt from a member of the organisation on Wednesday.
According to sources, this is the first time in the history of Pakistan’s polio eradication efforts that operations have been affected like this. The eradication campaign remains in jeopardy with restart hinging on whether workers are satisfied with their security.
Dr Elias Durry, the WHO’s head for polio eradication campaign in Pakistan, confirmed the news saying they are concerned about the security of their staff.
However he stressed that WHO has not suspended its activities in the city. “It is not the time to pull out from Karachi and our campaigners are performing their duties,” he said.
He expressed his discomfort over the security provided to the agency saying that, “it is not what is recommended by the United Nations, however we are looking into the matter without any intentions of pulling out or stop performing our duties there.”