Taliban stopping polio vaccinations in Afghanistan: Report

Afghan Taliban spokesperson refutes reports, says they have no problem with vaccination programme.


Web Desk March 13, 2013
Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria are the only countries left in the world where polio is still endemic. PHOTO: FILE

Afghan Governor Tamim Nuristani said that the Taliban have halted the polio vaccination campaign in a remote part of the country, reported Guardian on Tuesday.

The report quoted the governor as saying that the Taliban have controlled parts of Nuristan province for several years but had never before prevented medical workers from carrying out their activities.

“For the last two years, the vaccine process went on in the [Waygal] district, but this year they [Taliban] have stopped it,” he told the Guardian.

According to the governor, the Taliban believe that the vaccination programme is a problem in terms of religion and should be stopped.

A Taliban spokesperson, Zabiullah Mujahid, refuted the governor’s claims and said that the Taliban have no problem with the vaccination as it was a health issue.

Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria are the only countries left in the world where polio is still endemic. Extremist groups have recently targeted several polio workers in Pakistan while rumour about vaccines sterilising Muslims have also dogged efforts to tackle the disease.

There were 223 cases of polio in 2012, with all but six of these in Nigeria (122), Pakistan (58) and Afghanistan (37), according to WHO data.

COMMENTS (2)

Safi | 8 years ago | Reply

Surely this is a good move by Taliban. At least they can save their children from dangers of Polio vaccination. It is now crystal clear that OPV has increased the incidence of paralytic polio in all countries. By changing defination of polio the WHO and pharma companies can't claim that OPV is effective. Time has come to let people know what are effects of vaccination and what they cause. It is a good thing that at least Afghanistan won't have these new diseases ranging from autism to paralysis, inflammatory disease and cancers. May God help them in protecting their children

US CENTCOM | 8 years ago | Reply

This just goes to show that the terrorists have no regard for humanity. They are working diligently against our efforts to restore peace and stability in the region. Their heartless approach becomes evident when we see the ones being affected are innocent people. And unfortunately, it wouldn’t be the first time we would see innocent people suffer due to their evil actions. Their counterparts on the other side of the border have applied similar tactics in the past by targeting Polio workers. Ultimately, the ones suffering are the innocent people of the region. Therefore, it is imperative for the regional partners to cooperate and coordinate against our common enemies. We share a common stance against terrorism, and refuse to bow down to their lawlessness. Their unruly approach will not be tolerated. We are working closely with the ANSF to ensure the safety of the nation. We will continue to provide support and help them achieve their peace objectives. Their fast growing capabilities assure a safe and bright future for the people of Afghanistan.

Ali Khan

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