Militants kill policeman escorting polio workers in Karak

Militants kill policeman escorting polio workers in Karak

KARAK: The militants on Tuesday killed a policeman who was on duty along with the team of polio workers in Karak district of KPK.

 A day before, the authorities start a nationwide anti-polio vaccination campaign in an effort to eradicate the disease by the end of the year.

According to the local police officials, the terrorists were riding a motorcycle when they shot and killed a policeman who was escorting a team of polio workers while the search for the attackers was underway who fled the scene immediately.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack as yet but in KPK, Militants often target polio teams and police assigned to protect them as the terrorists believe that the campaigns are a Western conspiracy to sterilize children.

Pakistan regularly launches polio drives. It had hoped to eliminate polio back in 2018, when only 12 cases were reported. But in the years since there has been an uptick in new cases.

The latest five-day anti-polio drive started Monday, with the goal to vaccinate 40 million children across Pakistan.

According to data issued by the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) for Polio, around 285,000 polio frontline workers will visit parents and caregivers at their doorsteps, adhering to strict Covid-19 precautionary measures and protocols while vaccinating children.

Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan are the only two remaining countries in the world where polio is endemic, after Nigeria was last year declared free of the wild polio virus.

Security and health experts believe that the government should engage religious leaders and Imams of the mosques to implement the polio campaign successfully especially in KPK as they can play the role of the opinion makers to convince the common masses regarding the importance of the polio campaign for the children.