Gunmen kill anti-polio campaign worker in Afghanistan

Two gunmen kill polio vaccination distributor in Kandahar Afghanistan

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A child receives a polio vaccination during an anti-polio campaign on the outskirts of Jalalabad, Afghanistan, December 1, 2015

Updated Dec 29, 2015

Two gunmen on a motorbike shot dead a polio vaccination distributor and seriously wounded her granddaughter in Kandahar, Afghanistan on Monday.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but it is known that militant groups consider anti-polio work as an attempt to spy.

The woman and her teenage granddaughter were eradication campaign volunteers.

"Today was the last day of campaign and as the workers were leaving a house, the gunmen opened fire on them and fled," senior provincial health official Abdul Qayum Pukhla told Reuters.

Afghanistan and Pakistan are the only remaining countries with a polio endemic, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

It’s a highly infectious viral disease mainly affecting young children.

In a small proportion of cases, the disease causes paralysis, which is often permanent. There is no cure for polio, it can only be prevented by immunisation.

TRTWorld and agencies