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WHO reaffirms exclusively humanitarian purpose of public health programmes

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Cairo, 12 May 2014 – The World Health Organization (WHO) is deeply concerned by the circulation of an incorrect statement that was made during a press conference convened by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan on Thursday 8 May 2014, which wrongly and erroneously alleged the involvement of United Nations agencies in the “fake vaccination campaign” conducted by Dr Shakeel Afridi.

WHO reaffirms its unequivocal position that all health programmes, including immunization campaigns, must be used only for their intended humanitarian purpose of protecting and promoting health. WHO continues to categorically deplore  the use of health interventions for any other reason. WHO reiterates that there is absolutely no connection whatsoever between WHO and the “fake vaccination campaign” conducted by Dr Afridi.

Following the erroneous statement made on 8 May 2014, the United Nations formally objected to the Government of Pakistan, from which it immediately received assurances that the statement made by the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was categorically incorrect and made in error. WHO welcomes this clarification by the Government and trusts that the erroneous statement will be fully retracted.

WHO and its partners are committed to supporting the Government and people of Pakistan in their efforts to implement fully the polio eradication strategies, improve the health of their children and participate in the legacy of a polio-free world.

For further information:

Bahaa Elkoussi
Senior Communication Officer
World Health Organization
Tel: + 20222765078
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it