Pakistan: Police pushing anti-polio vaccinations

From The New York Times of 2/28/15

Determined to curb Pakistan’s polio crisis, police officials in the northwestern province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa said Friday they have issued hundreds of arrest warrants for parents who refuse to vaccinate their children.

“There is total determination on our part,” the deputy police commissioner for Peshwar, Riaz Khan Mahsud, said in an interview. “We shall convince parents of the good of vaccinating their children, but if they refuse we shall detain them. There is no leniency.”

Last year, 306 new polio cases were reported in Pakistan, breaking the country’s previous record high of 199 new cases in 2000. Dr. Imtiaz Ali Shah, head of the government’s polio monitoring group in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, said the outbreak was particularly bad in two northwestern tribal regions, North Waziristan and South Waziristan, remote areas that have been havens for militants from Al Qaeda and the Taliban and their allies, making them mostly inaccessible to vaccination teams.


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