News FocusPolio Campaign

Closing a Deadly Refuge

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Science  03 Aug 2012:
Vol. 337, Issue 6094, pp. 520-521
DOI: 10.1126/science.337.6094.520

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On 17 July in the town of Gadap in Karachi, Pakistan, two gunmen shot at a Ghanaian doctor and his Pakistani driver, who were participating in a national polio vaccination campaign. Three days later, another WHO polio worker was shot and killed outside a Gadap clinic. The attacks, sadly, are not uncommon. Polio workers in Pakistan have received death threats. Two doctors on WHO duty and their driver were killed in a roadside bombing in Afghanistan in September 2008. And just last year 23 people were killed when the jihadist terrorist organization Boko Haram bombed U.N. House in Abuja, Nigeria. The attack in Gadap came just as the town was, for the first time, showing signs of progress in its fight against polio.