Taliban Says No to Polio Vaccine Meant for 300,000 Children – Fearing it’s Anti-Muslim Plot

March 27, 2009

(ChattahBox)—The World Health Organization is reporting on an emergency health crisis about to erupt in Northern Pakistan, as Taliban militants are blocking attempts by UN doctors to treat over 300,000 innocent children with the polio vaccine. Dr Nima Abid says children must be vaccinated during the first three months of the year, when the virus is at its lowest, for it to be the most effective. Taliban militants and clerics are using roving loudspeakers and underground radio stations, terrifying the local populace into believing the vaccine causes infertility and is part of a US anti-Muslim conspiracy.

This volatile situation is particularly disturbing, as UN doctors risk their lives to inoculate thousands of children against a contagious insidious disease, which is easily prevented with a simple vaccine. A roadside bomb killed a UN doctor in the tribal region of Bajaur in 2007, during a similar campaign by Islamist militants to block vaccinations.

The Northern region of Pakistan has been quickly developing into a tinderbox, just waiting for a spark to set it off. Taliban militants took over the area of Swat and the capital City of Mingora, turning what once was a lovely resort area, into a region where people are fearful to travel to. The Pakistani government gave up trying to oust them, and struck a controversial peace accord with the militant clerics to let them remain in a so called Taliban “safe haven.”

As part of the peace accord, the Taliban agreed to allow UN doctors to vaccinate the children. An agreement they have now broken. Taliban spokesman, Muslim Khan upped the rhetoric further, by saying it’s against Islam to take medicine before falling sick with a disease. He also claims the polio vaccines are a US plot to reduce the Muslim population. The Pakistani North West Frontier Province had 53-recorded cases of polio in 2008.

Meanwhile, UN doctors are meeting with Taliban Swat leaders to try and convince them to honor the terms of the peace accord and allow the doctors to vaccinate the children, before it is too late and a health crisis takes hold.

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