Police Offer Protecting Polio workers Gunned Down in Pakistan

Little boy receives a vaccination in the doctors office.

Authorities in Pakistan said on June 2nd that a police officer tasked with protecting polio vaccination workers was shot and killed by assailants.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, at least eleven police officers have been murdered this year while protecting immunization programs.

According to Sajid Khan, a police spokesman, the assailants opened fire on a construction crew in the Wargari region of the Lakki Marwat district. One of the attackers died, and the other assailants ran away.

No one took credit for the attack.

Violence often accompanies anti-polio initiatives in Pakistan. Because they believe that immunization programs are a Western plot to sterilize children, Islamic extremists attack polio workers and the police tasked with protecting them.

On Monday, nine districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which were identified as having a high risk of polio, began a five-day anti-polio campaign. Vaccinating 3.28 million children younger than 5 is a major responsibility of healthcare providers. About 26,000 police officers are protecting the teams.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is closely aligned with the Afghan Taliban that took control of Afghanistan in August 2021 after U.S. President Joe Biden botched the withdrawal from the country after 20 years of war.

Pakistan and its neighbor are the only nations where polio continues to spread unchecked.

The highly contagious virus, known as polio (poliomyelitis), usually strikes children less than five years old. The poliovirus is the causative agent, and it transmits from person to person by infected food and drink or the fecal-oral pathway.

Paralysis or death, in extreme instances, might result from the poliovirus’ attack on the neurological system.

Polio may manifest in three primary types.

Headache, Fever, nausea, and extreme tiredness are mild flu-like symptoms seen by 90% of people with Non-Paralytic Polio.

With Abortive Polio, severe flu-like symptoms without paralysis are seen in 5% of the people afflicted.

The most severe type of polio, known as Paralytic Polio, affects one percent of cases and often causes permanent paralysis of the legs. There have been reports of fatalities caused by its effects on respiratory muscles.

Cases have decreased by more than 99 percent since 1988 due to worldwide eradication efforts, although it is still prevalent in Pakistan and Afghanistan.