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Pakistan Battling Not Only Polio, but Misinformation

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'Efforts to erase polio are hampered by suspicions that health workers are spies, following the CIA's use of a vaccination team to track Osama bin Laden. That legacy led to two polio workers being killed Wednesday... 
"People say that it's not good, it's not right. They say there is something in this vaccine - that there is swine used in the vaccine. And some say that it takes your manhood away. It makes you impotent," said one male resident of Shabqadar...
"There is hate for this vaccine. Mullahs have issued 20 different statements. They say that it's an anti-Muslim campaign," said Jamil Khan, a Shabqadar resident. "It stops young boys from being able to produce several offspring when they are men. It limits them to only being able to produce one or two children.
"When they grow up, they lose their manhood and sexual urge. Britain and America are responsible for this," he added, citing rumors in the area...
Frustration that such misinformation has led children to fall sick has led government workers to try to counter the rumors during a recent three-day vaccination drive.
"We go from village to village, house-to-house, and door-to-door, giving polio drops to those children whose parents initially refused," said Arshad Khan, a vaccination worker. "Sometimes we bring them [an influential elder, like] a Khan, Nazim or Malik, or even try ourselves to ensure that all the children are covered."...


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