Pakistan detains parents refusing kids’ polio vaccine

Updated 03 March 2015

Pakistan detains parents refusing kids’ polio vaccine

PESHAWAR: Pakistani officials say hundreds of parents have been arrested in recent days because they refused to allow vaccinators to give their children the polio vaccine.
Feroz Shah, a spokesman for the Peshawar district administration, says 471 people have been arrested.
A senior police officer in Peshawar, Shakirullah Khan, says he does not have an exact figure on the number arrested but that it is so far in the “hundreds.” Khan said the arrests were made under a law against endangering public safety.
Authorities have made scattered arrests in the past for polio refusals, but such widespread arrests are rare.
Pakistan is one of three countries where polio is endemic, and the country last year accounted for the vast majority of reported cases.
The disease remains common after the Taleban banned vaccinations and attacked medical workers. Some Pakistanis also are suspicious about vaccinations, fearing it will sterilize their children.
The scope of vaccination drives in Pakistan is impressive. In January, officials targeted about 35 million children in a nationwide campaign while smaller campaigns are held more frequently.
Officials have also implemented new security strategies to protect vaccinators.


South Sudan confirms first case of coronavirus

Updated 4 min 58 sec ago

South Sudan confirms first case of coronavirus

JUBA: South Sudan has confirmed its first case of COVID-19, its vice president said on Sunday, becoming the latest African nation to report a case of the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
Riek Machar said a 29-year old patient arrived in the country from Ethiopia on February 28, and that she was being treated in isolation.