Saturday, August 11, 2007

Pakistani Clerics Stop Polio Vaccine Campaign

Islamic fundamentalists destroyed polio vaccines and took health workers hostage in the Bajur agency in Pakistan. Hard-line clerics in the remote region are convinced that the vaccination program is a US conspiracy to render Islamic children incapable of having children, and thus, anti-Islamic.

Pakistan is one of only a handfull of countries in the world where polio still exists in the wild and where documented cases have been reported in the past few years.

How backward of those people, one might sigh, looking down from his/her western vantagepoint. One needn't be reminded that significant controversy still surrounds vaccinations in the US and other western countries. A search of "vaccine controversy" in your browser will return over 1.6 million links to investigate. Many of the loudest voices in the West seem to be centered in religious groups, and those who administer or practice alternative medicine.

Some have posited a link between vaccinations and autism. Here is the Center for Disease Control's statement.

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