Rotary's Polio-Plus Volunteers Attacked in Pakistan.

 A women volunteer in Rotary's Polio Plus vaccination campaign was killed, and another wounded in an attack near Peshawar, Pakistan on Tuesday, May 28,2013.  The volunteers were going door-to door dispensing the oral anti-polio drops to children when two gunmen opened fire. This type of violence has usually been attributed to the Pakistani Taliban who consider Polio vaccination efforts as a Muslim sterilization plan, according to the deputy city commisioner of Peshawar. There was also an attack in northwestern Pakistan last week on volunteers, and the soldier protecting the volunteer team was killed. There are 682 teams in Pakistan this week with the aim to vaccinate more than 220,000 children.

(From the New York Times, December 2012) This has happened with increasing frequency in Pakistan over the past year. A concerted immunization drive, involving up to 225,000 vaccination workers, drove the number of newly infected polio victims down to 52.   Donors like the Bill and Melinda Gates  Foundation, the United Nations, and Rotary, and at the national level, President Asif Ali Zardari and his daughter Aseefa,  have made polio eradication a “personal mission.”
In December of 2012 in  Pakistan, The United Nations suspended its polio vaccination drive in Pakistan after eight people involved in the effort were shot dead in the past two days, a U.N. official said.
The suspension was a grave blow to the drive to bring an end to the scourge of polio in Pakistan, one of only three countries where the crippling disease still survives.
 The gunmen shot at a woman working on the campaign in northwest Pakistan, killing her and her driver, one of five attacks during the day on polio workers. A male polio immunization worker was critically wounded in one of the shootings.
During that week, six other people have been killed who were working on the immunization program, which has been jointly conducted with the Pakistani government. No one claimed responsibility, but some Islamic extremists charge that the program is a cover for espionage.
At the U.N., Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the killing as "cruel, senseless and inexcusable." He said the eight workers were among thousands across Pakistan "working selflessly to achieve the historic goal of polio eradication."
Sarah Crowe, spokeswoman for UNICEF, said the vaccination program has been suspended everywhere in Pakistan until an investigation by the Pakistani government is completed.
"This is undoubtedly a tragic setback, but the campaign to eradicate polio will and must continue," she said.