District polio coordinator shot dead in Swabi


SWABI: Unknown motorcyclists shot dead a District Coordinator of Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) in Swabi district on Monday.
Dr. Yaqoob was on the way to office when unknown motorcyclists intercepted his car near Zaida Bypass area of Swabi killing him on the spot, said Javed Iqbal Wazir, District Police Officer (DPO) Swabi.
District Swabi is the worst as polio workers is targeting time to time in the district. In January 2013, six women and a man working for health and education charity involved in vaccinations were shot dead on their way home from a community centre.
Polio workers have long been targeted due to rumours that the polio immunisation drive is a front for espionage or a conspiracy to sterilise Muslims. The rumours have made inhabitants of lesser-developed parts of the country more wary of allowing immunisation.
These claims were propagated by the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, who stepped up attacks targeting polio immunisation teams after Pakistani doctor Shakeel Afridi was recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency to set up a hepatitis immunisation drive as part of efforts to track down Al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden.
Pakistan remains one of only two countries on the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) list of polio-endemic countries.