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Taliban’s actions deny children a healthy future

Killing health workers trying to help Pakistanis fight the scourge of polio will not win them any friends

Gulf News

The Taliban moved one step further to alienating all right thinking people by murdering at least seven medical workers in Karachi and north-west Pakistan, who were taking part in the worldwide campaign to eradicate the cruel disease of polio.

The Taliban’s justification is that the US is running some kind of spy network under the guise of the vaccination programme, and it is very unfortunate that the Taliban may be able to persuade some weak-minded people that it is true since the CIA did try to use a medical programme as a way to get close to the lair of Osama Bin Laden in Abbotabad prior to his killing by US Special Forces. But the fact is that the polio eradication programme is run by the Pakistani government, and is doing fantastic work to eradicate this highly infectious viral disease, which can cause irreversible paralysis, usually in the legs, and kills its victims in a minority of cases.

Almost 200 Pakistani children were paralysed in 2011 — the worst figures in 15 years. Other children deserve every chance to avoid the dreadful plague, and the Taliban are wrong to deny this.