Polio teams attacked in parts of Pakistan

Published: January 21, 2014
Relatives of a female polio vaccination worker mourn outside a morgue in the Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Center. PHOTO: REUTERS

Relatives of a female polio vaccination worker mourn outside a morgue in the Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Center. PHOTO: REUTERS

Relatives of a female polio vaccination worker mourn outside a morgue in the Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Center. PHOTO: REUTERS Gun attack in Qayummabad area left another worker injured.  PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: Polio teams on Monday came under attack in Karachi, Mansehra and Panjgur for carrying out the vaccination campaign, Express News reported. The attacks left four people dead.

In Karachi, three people – including two female polio workers – were killed and two others sustained injuries in a gun attack.

The team – working without any security – was attacked in Karachi’s Qayummabad area. The injured were shifted to Jinnah hospital for medical assistance.

According to eyewitnesses, four armed men had been waiting in the area for a while and attacked the team as soon as the workers entered the neighbourhood.

The polio campaign was postponed in the city’s East Zone after the attack. The chairperson of the Sindh Polio Workers Association also announced that the association members will not take part in the campaign. “Our workers will not put their lives in danger for Rs250,” she said.

Sindh chief minister announced Rs0.5 million as compensation for the deceased polio workers.

Unidentified armed men opened fire at a polio team in Mansehra and killed one worker. In Panjgur, Balochistan, miscreants snatched away a car from the polio team.

In a separate attack, a worker has also been killed in Oghi, a town in the Mansehra district. The polio campaign in Karachi has been halted as the female health workers have boycotted the campaign in the whole country.

Previous attacks

This is not the first attack on a polio team in Karachi. In July 2012, a foreign doctor was injured when unidentified armed men opened fire on a United Nations vehicle passing through Koochi Camp near Sohrab Goth.

Most of the attacks on polio workers in Karachi have been observed to have occurred in the outskirts of the city, areas notorious as militant strongholds.

In July 2012, 45-year-old Dr Ishaq, a doctor associated with the polio prevention campaign of the WHO, was gunned down in alAsif Square in Sohrab Goth. Three consecutive attacks in separate areas of Karachi on December 18, 2012, claimed the lives of four female polio workers and wounded two male workers.

In August 2013, a team of vaccinators escaped unhurt in an attack in Gulshan-e-Maymar when the police exchanged fire with a shooter believed to be affiliated with the Afghan Taliban. He was later arrested.

While in December 2013, law enforcers foiled an attack on a polio team in Sohrab Goth by killing a suspected militant of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)


According to Expanded Program on Immunisation (EPI), Sindh, seven polio cases were reported in Karachi in 2013, out of which four were reported in Gadap Town.

The deputy project manager of the EPI, Sindh, Dr Duray Naz claimed that two of the children affected by polio died last year in Karachi.

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Reader Comments (30)

  • Sodomite
    Jan 21, 2014 - 11:44AM

    Shut down polio campaign. Let Allah take care of our people as he did for thousands of years. Let’s have high mortality rates and short life spans. All our problems will be taken care off.


  • Disgusted
    Jan 21, 2014 - 11:50AM

    These poor souls work for a few hundred Rs. This is not a civilized country, because society largely reacts with an ostrich like attitude to these atrocities. If you cannot do anything about it, at least condemn it. None of the talk show hosts will want to do this.


  • Shafaq
    Jan 21, 2014 - 11:53AM

    Ohhh…………very sad.


  • Jan 21, 2014 - 12:12PM

    i think you should publish the pictures of these victims – I think society should be angry about this – this is no ordinary killing – they are assassinations.


  • Tariq Hassan
    Jan 21, 2014 - 12:54PM

    Will PPP govt be held accountable?


  • Sunny Khan
    Jan 21, 2014 - 1:00PM

    Murder in Cold Blood.


  • Takloo
    Jan 21, 2014 - 1:14PM

    For god sake…some body save these poor people…they must had been the sole earners for their families and are killed today…who will take care of their families now?…Govt is still thinking on peace process and PC drama…Goodness me..take some action


  • Engineer
    Jan 21, 2014 - 1:17PM

    They are not leaving even the ladies now…total failure of government and law enforcement agencies…shame on us as a nation


  • 44XY
    Jan 21, 2014 - 1:27PM

    The reason for the West helping you in eradicating polio is not that they want to see us healthy. They want to eliminate the polio virus altogether from this world like the smallpox virus was eradicated 30 years ago. It is in our own interest that we should back them in such an effort. We should think what is good for us.
    The polio virus has now been cornered into only three regions, and unfortunately, Pakistan is one of them. If we keep carrying the virus and the world will isolate us and put travel bans on us. Well, who wants to go to the West anyway, but what about going for Umrah and Haj……


  • Sane
    Jan 21, 2014 - 2:13PM

    Lets see today how much this is discussed in talk shows on TV.Recommend

  • Luppy
    Jan 21, 2014 - 3:22PM

    Islam doesn’t mention anything about Polio . We should leave it to Allah only and should avoid polio vaccines.Recommend

  • Aysha M
    Jan 21, 2014 - 3:42PM

    Now both my comments removed, why?Recommend

  • Aysha M
    Jan 21, 2014 - 3:49PM

    MQM which should now be called MVM, Mutahida Vigil Movement, would probably organize another vigil to condemn this heinous act. this is all they seem to be getting right these days.
    Very disappointed by MQM, Karachi is bleeding and MQM is watching it all happen from the periphery, deeply deeply disappointed


  • Jan 21, 2014 - 4:23PM

    @Luppy: Islam does not mention about malaria, cancer AIDS, cholera , and dengue too. So should we leave the patients of all these diseases at the mercy of Allah. Oh as pr your logic what is the necessity of hospitals and doctors either. factories of brain washing must be stopped.


  • Zaida P
    Jan 21, 2014 - 4:28PM

    Internet was also not mentioned. Neither was TV, cell phone or powered vehicles. Would you stop using all of those?


  • Wali
    Jan 21, 2014 - 5:52PM

    This is so disturbing to see it happen up and down the country and at an alarming frequency. Only in Pakistan in 21st century people only doing good for the society are murdered in cold blood and the state/government is absolutely immovable. Shame!


  • Shah (Berlin)
    Jan 21, 2014 - 6:03PM


    you must be kidding me…is tht ur solution….!!!!!

    So sad tht these women went out for safety of our future and some one kills them and our solution to the problem is stop the vaccination…..

    Extremely sad incident May Allah bless their souls and give intelligence to our people AMEEN!!!Recommend

  • Reeba
    Jan 21, 2014 - 6:06PM

    @Luppy, Not sure whether you meant it as sarcasm. If not, electricity is also not mentioned in islam. So don’t use it.


  • Last Word
    Jan 21, 2014 - 6:10PM

    In the light of several attacks on polio workers, will not be in order that this very important campaign is carried out by the military and rangers in the sensitive areas ?


  • AP
    Jan 21, 2014 - 6:14PM

    ”Islam doesn’t mention anything about Polio . We should leave it to Allah only and should avoid polio vaccines.”

    You prove that there is no correlation between literacy and education.
    And same for the people who liked your comment.


  • Trotsky
    Jan 21, 2014 - 6:31PM

    A prime example of what happens when medieval thinking in allowed to run wild in a country. Brainless fanatics, clowns who pretend to be the leaders of a country and a culture of malaise has led to such a collapse in our nation.


  • Aamir
    Jan 21, 2014 - 6:38PM

    Well done Imran Khan. This is the change everyone was speaking of.


  • Certitude
    Jan 21, 2014 - 7:02PM

    My deepest Sympathies to my Martyred Brothers and Sisters.


  • PS
    Jan 21, 2014 - 7:06PM


    Islam doesn’t talk about cancer also, so lets burn down Shawket Khanum Hospital also. This nation has lost all sanity.


  • UMER
    Jan 21, 2014 - 7:08PM

    Where is security? Where is ARMED FORCES? Where is media? No one is there.
    Must destory factories of termagency any where.Recommend

  • Irfan
    Jan 21, 2014 - 7:26PM

    @Tariq Hassan: do not politicized this cruelty. feel the pain please.


  • unbelievable
    Jan 21, 2014 - 7:30PM

    And you want to negotiate with these people? They want to eliminate your right to vote, your freedom of speech, and even your right to health care — you willing to give up any of those?


  • Syed
    Jan 21, 2014 - 7:38PM

    These are the worst of creature that are doing all these killings in Pakistan. We need 1000 more Chaudhry Aslam as encounter is the only solution for these barbarians.


  • Kay
    Jan 21, 2014 - 9:23PM

    @ Luppy: Islam does not mention about cancer as well so shut down all cancer hospitals.


  • Sodomite
    Jan 21, 2014 - 9:28PM

    I guess you did not understand the sarcasm in my comment. Read again.


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