How Paranoia Kills Children

In Pakistan, the government is threatening to arrest parents who do not allow their children to receive the polio vaccine. Those refusing families that are Afghan, will be forced to return to Afghanistan. For years, Islamic radicals, including some clergy, urged parents to refuse vaccination, as the radicals believed the vaccination was a Western plot to poison Moslem children. This particular fantasy has been rattling around for nearly a decade, and has prevented the UN from wiping out polio. Like small pox (which was wiped out in the 1970s), once there are no people with polio, the disease is gone for good (it can only survive in a human host). The Islamic clerics urging parents not to vaccinate their children against polio, are providing the disease with hosts, and keeping it going. Last year, 17,000 children were not vaccinated in northern Pakistan because of this paranoid fantasy. Thus radical Islam continues to kill people in places, and ways, you never hear of.


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