Rotary condemns attacks targeting polio vaccinators in Pakistan

A child shows off the purple dye on his pinkie, a sign he has received the polio vaccine.

A child shows off the purple dye on his pinkie, a sign he has received the polio vaccine.

By Robert S. Scott, chair of the International PolioPlus Committee

Rotary International joins the Government of Pakistan and our partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in condemning the recent attacks that have killed and wounded health workers in Pakistan.

The shooting victims are among the thousands of health workers and volunteers – including members of Pakistan’s 151 Rotary clubs – who are committed to saving children by stopping the transmission of polio in Pakistan, one of three countries where the crippling virus remains endemic.

The attacks prompted the Government of Pakistan to temporarily suspend the vaccination campaign due to concerns over the safety of health workers.

Rotary is deeply concerned that such attacks deprive at-risk children of basic life-saving health care services, including polio vaccinations. I know that Pakistani Rotarians, supported by Rotary members worldwide, will continue to do their utmost to create a safe environment so that these dedicated health workers can reach the nation’s most vulnerable children with vaccinations and other vital health interventions.

Polio eradication has been Rotary’s highest priority since 1985, and we are on the brink of making history by beating polio once and for all.

On behalf of Rotary’s 1.2 million members, representing 34,000 clubs in 200 countries and areas, I extend our deepest sympathy to the families of the victims. Their dedication and sacrifice further inspire us to continue moving forward toward our goal of a polio-free world.

19 thoughts on “Rotary condemns attacks targeting polio vaccinators in Pakistan

  1. Denunciation of this cowardly act is demanded, however it is insufficient! Action, not words is necessary. As a Rotarian I believe we are called to take action. Such action must include, but not limited to using our influence with our friends, colleagues, politicians and anyone who serves others to place sustained and direct pressure on the issue. I am sorry, but a media release is grossly insufficient.

    History has taught us many lessons regarding the power of a statement (Nevil Chamberlain) and remaining of the sidelines cheering the team on vs. the power of action (Winston Churchill) and marching fully prepared toward the enemy. Reducing this to its common denominator, talk is cheap!

    The Taliban is the enemy in this case.

    I call upon RIP Sakuji and TRF Chairman Wilf and ALL Rotarians to take this issue “head on” at your local Rotary Club and push it upward through Rotary’s chain.

    The question I ask is: “What are you going to do?”

    Winston Churchill summed it up perfectly: “To ensure peace, prepare for war.” Trust me my friends, we are at war.


    Doug Morton – Brampton – Heart Lake


  2. Where is the RI leadership on this critical matter?? Both RIP Sakuji and TRF Chairman Wilf should be on all of the available news networks all over the world telling of this tragic problem and how despicable these really crazy people are. Our RI public relations department should be demanding that RIP Sakuji and TRF Chairman Wilf get on these news shows so we can tell all of the world about our success and about these horrible so called “religous leaders” “Taliban” or whatever they are.
    Come on Rotarians lets get some backbone and show the world just how close we are to the end and also lets try to “shame and cajole those 3 countries that are not polio free.
    Tom Engel,
    Rotary Club of St. Croix Falls/Taylors Falls
    District 5960


    • have opened mail with our district 1160 ireland to see if they are aware of this and also what they will do. it seems that there is general lack of knowledge that this atrocity has occurred so that is one problem we have to get over . we need to communuicate it and that of course could be done better by rotary in their mags etc. otherwise also the rotary big wigs should be proactive in their actions on this even writing to u.s. government and using the media to highlight our role internationally in the polio eradication..derek sinnamon coleraine rotary


      • Rotary, World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; every one should suppose to condemned. – Sk Abdul Hadi, RC Khulna North, RID-3280


  3. So called Islamic fanatism has no heart and mind. It is blind. Even in Varanasi (,India) Polio compaign has been objected by Muslim fundamentalists. The Rotarians were not allowed to deliver polio drops to children.


  4. These attackers are enemies of their own children. They must be isolated and the programme should go on.
    rtn. ajai anand


  5. The world is waiting to see what & how RI is responding to this in human incident, especially the Rotarians across the globe are interested to know (& I am sure eager to ‘chip-in’ in their individual capacity too) apart from condemning in Rotary circle, what Rotary authorities are doing.

    We must actively & publicly Condemn. We must convince Government of Pakistan, United Nations, UNICEF, WHO and all such agency to act tough, provide security, create awareness among common people of Pakistan.

    We need to ACT Tough.


  6. It is really shocking news. The entire world is supporting this, I don’t know why Pakistan is not co-operating for eradicating polio from the earth.


  7. We , in Rotary have a right to know why the Polio Campaign was brought into the fragile politics of the East by the pretenders hunting Bin Laden under the guise of being polio vaccinators. Was Rotary aware of this before or after .What has R.I. done to bring the Americans who perpetuated this pretense to heel?


  8. I’m sure our Rotarian friends in Pakistan would continue to dedicate themselves to save our children from the scourge of polio with utmost sincerity and commitment, without being deterred by such incidents.
    I fail to understand when these few ‘men of god’ would be able to see the harsh reality of the dark future they are painting for their children. Ending polio is a worldwide health concern. And it seems, the biggest fight against polio today is not the wild polio virus…it is the ‘wild human virus’ which is aiding its spread.
    I have been a part of the India-Nigeria Polio Surgeries Mission where the aim of the team was primarily to sensitize the people about the scourge of polio. Hundreds of parents who came to Abuja with their crippled children and many who crawled into the two hospitals where Indian doctors operated, realised their mistake of depriving their children of the dose of polio. With tears in their eyes they promised to go back and tell other parents in their villages.
    We too were not without our share of challenges when a bus carrying 50 crippled children from a polio-endemic state, Burno, was stopped on the way and sent back with the same illogical scare of sterilisation.
    “We are learning our lesson the hard way,” said a polio-stricken father who had brought her polio-afflicted daughter also to the hospital for corrective surgery. But may be this would be too late for many of these parents and children of our world.


  9. Where are our leadership? I agree completely with PDG 3360 Chamnan that the entire world should be hearing loudly and clearly from both RIP Sakuji and TRF Chairman Wilf on behalf of all Rotarians throughout the world that we who have supported polio eradication for the past quarter-century for the sole benefit of the millions of children who are not being crippled by polio cannot stand by in silence at the cowardly acts of those perpetrators of violence who have murdered our polio volunteers in Pakistan. Why was Rotary not front-and-center on this issue? Even the PBS news featured a Washington NGO bureaucrat rather than the truly international perspective that only Rotary can represent. And as a major donor to the original campaign in the 1980s (and continuing contributor) as well as being a proud vaccine delivery volunteer many years ago, I really resent anyone representing Rotary’s continuing concern and commitment to this campaign and its impact on the world other than our own Rotarian leadership. So let’s step up to the plate on behalf of the untold number of Rotarians whose time, talent, energy and treasure have been the driving force in getting the world so close to elimination of polio. This is for you, PDG Russ! …do you read that, Juan Williams?


  10. Dear Sir,

    It is not often that I need to struggle for words to express my horror at the shocking and appalling news emanating from Connecticut this week. My wife and I were deeply moved to tears at both the interview with one of the Kindy teachers and the Presidents speech at the White House. This is the latest in a string of similar occurrences and – enough is enough. We were outraged and grief stricken at this horrific and dreadful news and continue to be so.

    Compounding this, is my outrage and incandescent anger at the news that six people have been murdered by the Taliban in Karachi and Peshawar, Pakistan for the “crime” of vaccinating the children of Pakistan against polio. Five of these were women and three of those were teenagers.

    India has, this week, celebrated two years without a single case of polio. The only endemic nations left are Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. Why? Because the Islamic clerics and Taliban are promoting the vaccinations as a CIA plot to sterilise the children. And so they condemn innocent young children to the crippling and often fatal disease of polio.

    As a Rotarian who has spent a considerable amount of time raising funds and educating our youth for the eradication of polio world wide under the Polio Plus Campaign, I am appalled at the fact that these misogynistic objectors are living in the middle ages still and worst of all, they possess the hydrogen bomb; and a hydrogen bomb trumps a Bushmaster assault rifle any day.

    Ellis Hopper
    Past President & Paul Harris Fellow,
    Youth Director & P.R. Drctr.,
    The Rotary Club of Wyong / Tuggerah Inc.,
    34, Golding Grove,
    TACOMA, N.S.W. 2259
    Tel: [02] 4353.4027
    Fax: [02] 4353.4036
    Mob: 0418.690.191


  11. Control, control and more control…the only way these murderers see of controling the people of Pakistan is to murder those who work to save children’s lives from life long misery
    of preventable disease.


  12. I’m surprised that why this announcement was not come from the president of Rotary International or TRF chair.


  13. These attacks are absolutely unbelievable. What a tragedy. Is there anything that can be done to combat this outrage against children?


  14. Pingback: Rotary condemns attacks targeting polio vaccinators in Pakistan | Warsaw Rotary , Club 3393, District 6540

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.