Taliban Bans Polio Vaccine For Pakistan Children

A ban on polio vaccinations imposed by the Taliban could affect about 280,000 children living in tribal areas of northwest Pakistan, according to estimates from the World Health Organization.

Last month, local Taliban militants prohibited polio vaccines over the United States’ use of drone strikes in the region. When a three-day nationwide effort to administer polio vaccines began this week, health workers and volunteers weren’t able to immunize children in North and South Waziristan. Under this security situation, they “obviously cannot operate,” said Mazhar Nisar, the health education adviser in the Pakistani prime minister’s polio program.

Throughout the rest of the country, vaccination efforts continued as 180,000 health workers and volunteers fanned throughout communities trying to immunize 34 million children, under the age of 5.


The commander, Hafiz Gul Bahadur said that the drone strikes “are worse than polio,” and consulted with other Taliban leaders regarding the decision, according to the statement. Drone strikes are widely unpopular, as the Pakistani government has pressed the U.S. administration to stop the attacks. 20 dead in drone attack in Pakistan

Pakistan remains one of the three countries in the world grappling with polio. The country has had 22 reported cases this year. The other two countries are Afghanistan with 11 cases and Nigeria with 54. Polio is highly contagious and can cause paralysis, breathing problems, deformities and death. There is no cure for polio, so the focus lies on vaccines to prevent the disease. The vaccine is administered orally, and in multiple doses to achieve full immunity. Pakistan’s tribal regions are areas where polio is known to be active, according to disease data. The WHO, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF and Rotary International have a joint polio eradication campaign.

Should health workers just withdraw from their anti-polio campaign where the Taliban is concerned? Or should the U.S. relent from their drone strikes?

Source: CNN

Image: India Morning News

Jimmy Carter: U.S. Violates Human Rights

A former U.S. president is accusing the current president of sanctioning the “widespread abuse of human rights” by authorizing drone strikes to kill suspected terrorists.

Jimmy Carter, America’s 39th president, denounced the Obama administration for “clearly violating” 10 of the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, writing in a New York Times op-ed on Monday that the “United States is abandoning its role as the global champion of human rights.”

While the total number of attacks from unmanned aircraft, or drones, and the resulting casualties are murky, the New America Foundation estimates that in Pakistan alone 265 drone strikes have been executed since January 2009 . Those strikes have killed at least 1,488 people, at least 1,343 of them considered militants, the foundation estimates based on news reports and other sources.


In addition to the drone strikes, Carter criticized the current president for keeping the Guantanamo Bay detention center open, where prisoners “have been tortured by waterboarding more than 100 times or intimidated with semiautomatic weapons, power drills or threats to sexually assault their mothers.” He also condemned recent legislation that gives the president the power to detain suspected terrorists indefinitely, although a federal judge blocked the law from taking effect for any suspects not affiliated with the September 11 terrorist attacks.

While Carter never mentioned Obama by name, he called out “our government” and “the highest authorities in Washington,” and urged “concerned citizens” to “persuade Washington to reverse course and regain moral leadership.”

Do you agree with Jimmy Carter’s opinions about U.S. violating human rights? What steps should be taken to curb this?

Source: Yahoo News

Image: Current