CIA to stop fake vaccine programmes to ensure safety of health workers
The Central Intelligence Agency terminated the use of fake vaccine programmes during its missions for the benefit and safety of health workers.
The CIA introduced this move in August last year, after militants in a series of fatal attacks killed Pakistan health workers during a vaccination programme.
Radicals targeted vaccination centers after the CIA created fake vaccine programmes to capture Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. The procurement of genetic material through a counterfeit Hepatitis B vaccine operation reportedly gave the CIA whereabouts of Osama.
According to the BBC, 66 cases of polio have been registered in Pakistan since January, compared to only 8 during the same period last year.
Reports have further revealed that more than 60 polio workers and security personnel have been killed between December 2012 and January 2014, mostly in the tribal region of Waziristan as militants controlling the region believed health workers may include American spies and banned vaccination.
David Boyd, CIA spokesperson said that by publicizing the policy of no more fake vaccine programs, their objective is to dispel one canard that militant groups have used as justification for cowardly attacks on vaccination centers.
Many obstacles stand in the way of the vaccination programmes such as myths like they cause HIV or claims that they are spy programmes run by the West, while the CIA can do little about the former, the latter idea can be disintegrated, he added.
(Posted on 21-05-2014)