Pakistan Official Says Progress Made In Vaccinating Thousands Of Children Against Polio In Tribal Area

“Pakistan Tuesday claimed progress in vaccinating thousands of children against polio in a tribal area bordering Afghanistan which had been inaccessible due to unrest for about three years,” Agence France-Presse reports. “‘Our target was to vaccinate up to 25,000 children in Bara and some 32,000 children in Tirah valley in Khyber and 70 percent success has been achieved,’ top social welfare officer for tribal areas Aftab Durrani told AFP,” the news service writes.

“Officials feared that more than 165,000 children in the tribal district of Khyber had gone without the vaccine since 2009 because of fighting between government troops and warlord Mangal Bagh,” AFP writes, adding, “The restive tribal district has been the scene of military operations for the past five years and there had been no immunization in Bara and Tirah valley since 2009.” “Polio vaccination campaigns in rural Pakistan have long suffered because of rumors they are a plot to sterilize Muslims, and in July the Taliban banned them in the northwestern tribal region of Waziristan to protest against U.S. drone attacks,” the news service notes (9/4).

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