Madison Park | CNN
A three-month-old infant receives polio vaccination drops from his mother at a camp in Jalozai, Pakistan on July 13.
A ban on polio vaccinations imposed by the Taliban could affect about 280,000 children living in tribal areas of northwest Pakistan, according to estimates from the World Health Organization.
Last month, local Taliban militants prohibited polio vaccines over the United States’ use of drone strikes in the region.
When a three-day nationwide effort to administer polio vaccines began this week,health workers and volunteers weren’t able to immunize children in North and South Waziristan.
Under this security situation, they “obviously cannot operate,” said Mazhar Nisar, the health education adviser in the Pakistani prime minister’s polio program. “We’re hoping that the campaign will resume in the near future.”
Throughout the rest of the country, vaccination efforts continued as 180,000 health workers and volunteers fanned throughout communities trying to immunize 34 million children, under the age of 5.
Reza Sayah | CNN
Afghan Health Ministry employees administer polio vaccine drops to a child in Laghman province on June 11, 2012.
Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) — A Taliban commander in northwest Pakistan has announced a ban on polio vaccines for children as long as the United States continues its campaign of drone strikes in the region, according to a statement by the Taliban.
“Polio drops will be banned in North Waziristan until the drones strikes are stopped,” said the statement, released Saturday.
“Almost every resident of North Waziristan has become a mental patient because of the drone strikes, which are worse than polio,” the statement continued. “On one hand, the U.S. spends millions of dollars to eliminate polio, while on the other hand it kills hundreds with the help of its slave, Pakistan.” Read More