Is The U.S. At Fault For Pakistan's Polio Outbreak?

Pakistan is experiencing its largest polio outbreak in 15 years after the Taliban banned immunizations over distrust of the U.S. government.
Posted at 7:29 PM, Oct 04, 2014

Pakistani officials said Saturday the country is experiencing its largest polio outbreak in 15 years, with 202 cases reported so far in 2014. 

Polio is highly contagious but is easily prevented through a vaccine. The disease has been widely eradicated in most of the world, but can still be found in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.

Pakistan almost had the disease wiped out in 2012 and only experienced 58 cases, but that all changed once the Taliban banned the immunizations. 

The Taliban is known to attack and kill vaccination teams and most of the polio cases in the country are coming from the parts of the country where there is a heavy militant presence. 

Since 2012,around 60 people have been killed by the Taliban's targeting of polio vaccinators. "This was the fate of two young female health workers who did go to a neighborhood — shot dead."

The Taliban's distaste for immunizations came after the U.S. announced a Pakistani doctor was helping the CIA find Osama bin Laden through a fake immunization campaign.  

Because of this, some areblaming the outbreakon the U.S. "The country was on its way to eradicating the disease until the Taliban found out the CIA used the vaccine to do its dirty work."

In May, U.S. officials said they will no longer use health workers as spies because of this kind of backlash. 

Director-general of the World Health Organization Margret Chan told the U.N. General Assembly last month, “Pakistan is the single most important stumbling block along the road to ending polio once and for all.”

Pakistan launched an anti-polio drive this week in attempt to get the country's tens of millions of children vaccinated. 

This video includes an image from Getty Images.