WHO, Islamic leaders summit to stop polio worker attacks

By REUTERS
March 1, 2013 06:07

CANBERRA - Top World Health Organization officials and Islamic leaders will meet in Egypt next week in an effort to stop attacks on polio workers, which are hampering the eradication of the virus in some countries with large Muslim populations.

"Shooting health workers who are protecting kids from this crippling disease is against the Koran and everything Islam stands for," WHO's Assistant Director-General Bruce Aylward told Reuters in Canberra said on Friday.

Gunmen in Pakistan and Nigeria have killed more than 20 health workers in the past three months in a series of attacks linked to a backlash against the immunization program against the crippling virus.

"Muslim leaders have been great advocates of immunization and generally the support has always been there. In Cairo, we are meeting senior Islamic leaders to get a sense of what we can do, and ask them how can you help us," said Aylward.


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