WMA urges increased protection for polio workers

(03.03.2015) Increased protection for polio workers has been called for by the World Medical Association after four kidnapped polio workers were found dead in Pakistan last month.

Polio, a virus that affects the nervous system and is only prevented by immunisation, remains in northern Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Since 2012 there have been an increasing number of attacks on vaccine workers, with 63 Pakistani health workers and their security guards killed by the Taliban.

Dr. Xavier Deau, President of the WMA said, ‘Attacks on polio health workers, who are helping to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable populations, are an attack on humanity.

‘We urge those responsible to stop immediately and we also call for increased protection for polio workers in these dangerous areas.’

Dr. Deau added: ‘We are on the verge of eradicating polio, and it is vital that the world community stands together to ensure that we can deliver vaccinations with safe protection and without fear.’