Pakistan’s deadly descent into polio contagion

BBC: Pakistan was close to eradicating polio 10 years ago. But conspiracy theories, a Taliban ascendancy and drive-by shootings of polio workers have reversed the gains. The BBC’s M Ilyas Khan reports from the frontline of the government’s war against the virus and the militants’ war against its vaccinators.

“Polio workers had been shot in the area before, but we never imagined it could happen to us.”

Falak Naz, a member of the World Health Organisation’s polio eradication effort in north-western Pakistan, is in a desperate situation.

“I never anticipated I would be stranded in Peshawar city with an injured wife,” he tells me at the Lady Reading hospital, where he has been tending his wife, one of several family members injured in a gun and grenade attack on his home in a rural district in April.


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