School administration allegedly attacks polio team in Karachi, refuses to vaccinate students

A four-member team of polio health workers, accompanied by Assistant Commissioner Sheikh Rafiq, was allegedly attacked by a school’s administration in Karachi’s Nazimabad area on Tuesday after the team attempted to vaccinate its students against polio.

A first information report against the school was registered in the Nazimabad police station after the incident, with the assistant commissioner as the complainant. The institution was subsequently sealed.

According to DawnNews, the health workers had visited the school earlier to administer the polio vaccine to students.

However, the school had reportedly refused to allow the children to be vaccinated, following which a team comprising polio health workers Asma, Shazia, Raees Farrukh and Raheela Masroor visited the school and insisted that the school officials not hinder them in their work.

Despite insistence from the polio team, the school administration allegedly refused to budge and physically attacked the health workers, as well as Rafiq. The car used by the health workers was also damaged.

Inspector General of Police Sindh A.D. Khowaja ordered the senior superintendent of police Central to submit a detailed report of the incident.

The school has been contacted for its version of the events.

Polio teams have also been the target of militants allegedly after the Taliban spread rumours that the vaccination drives were a front for espionage or a conspiracy to sterilise Muslims.

Though attacks targeting polio teams have decreased in frequency over the last few years, incidents of violence still occur. Last month, two female polio workers were gunned down in Quetta. Officials have also been baffled by the number of incidents of well-educated people refusing to vaccinate their children.

Source: Dawn

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