IPS Reports On Taliban Attacks On Health Care Facilities In Pakistan’s FATA

Inter Press Service reports on Taliban-sponsored attacks on health care facilities in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The news service highlights a recent attack, adding, “With 26 hospitals, 10 rural health centers and 419 community health centers, FATA is well equipped to deal with all of its residents’ medical needs,” but “if the attacks do not stop immediately, Shaukat Ali [of the FATA Health Directorate] warned, the entire health system here will be rendered ineffective.”

“The entire medical community, along with a large majority of the general public, has slammed th[e] latest attack, which killed four people, as a plot to deprive FATA’s population of six million people of adequate health care,” IPS writes. “So far the Taliban have destroyed about 400 health facilities in FATA and the Khyber Pakhtunkwa (KP) province,” the news service notes, adding, “In the past three months the Taliban have claimed responsibility for the deaths of 17 policemen, female vaccinators and volunteers in polio-related violence.” IPS writes, “Meanwhile, medical facilities in Peshawar are struggling to keep pace with the influx of patients from tribal areas on the Afghanistan border, who say they are ‘too afraid’ to visit hospitals that might be targeted by militants” (Yusufzai, 5/1).