Bill Gates' efforts to eradicate the final vestiges of polio are bumping up against an unexpected impediment: the murderous rage of radical Islam, reports Michael Kelley at Business Insider:
Efforts like the one being led by Bill Gates and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg have reduced number of children paralyzed by the polio virus from 350,000 in 1998 to fewer than 225 cases in 2012. But the last remnants of the the debilitating disease must be wiped out in Nigeria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan or else it will make a comeback.
Radical islamic militants are preventing that from happening by attacking clinics, health workers, and police who travel with vaccinators to orally administer the antidote to children. Earlier this month in northern Nigeria armed men linked to Islamist extremist group Boko Haram killed nine people at a clinic after a local cleric denounced polio vaccination campaigns and local radio programs saying the campaigns are part of a foreign plot to sterilize Muslims.
The province, Kona, is now the epicenter of polio infections in Africa as it has refused to participate in the vaccination campaign.
In Pakistan a total of 18 people have been killed in the last three months, including a police officer who was escorting a polio team in the tribal areas in the country's northwest.