Pakistan Tragedy Threatens National Health

Posted on January 25, 2013 by


On 2 January, Pakistan experienced a tragedy. Five teachers and two health care workers were killed by an unknown gunman.

The gunmen were on motorcycles and opened fire on a van carrying social workers.  A child survived as he was pulled out of the car prior to the shooting.

Fear is widespread as citizens believe these deaths will harm public health campaigning and lead to a resurgence of the disease polio and other preventable diseases.

The reason behind these shootings is that militants opposed to the polio shots believe they will make Muslim children sterile.

There is also fear that this may be another attack after last year’s, in which 15 health and aid workers were killed in Pakistan.  This made the country one of the most dangerous in the world for aid workers. Most of these victims were women.

Many of these people were concerned that those working on the ground will shy away from assignments.

“In the past, local volunteers, be they teachers, medical workers or social mobilizers, considered themselves safe and worked hand in hand with foreign aid workers and paramilitary personnel in even the most dire of circumstances,” Hassan Belal Zaidi said.

“This is a tragedy, and it never should have happened–it doesn’t matter where it is,” senior Skyler Ammend said.

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