A policeman stands guard near a vehicle that was attacked by unidentified gunmen in Gadap Town, Karach on Tuesday. – Photo by Reuters

UNITED NATIONS: The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Tuesday thanked Pakistan for the prompt care of its staff members working on a polio immunisation campaign who were injured in an armed attack in a Karachi neighbourhood, and for the probe the Pakistani government launched into the incident.

“This incident will not distract from the progress Pakistan is making this year, as the country is closer than ever to (polio) eradication,” the Geneva-based UN health agency said in a news release.

It said one WHO staff member and one international consultant were injured in Karachi's Gadap Town when their vehicle was shot at by armed men. The two men working for WHO are in stable condition, the news release noted.

“WHO is grateful to the Pakistani medical professionals for the rapid and high-quality medical aid provided,” the UN health agency said.

Both men were supporting the currently-ongoing polio National Immunisation Days (NIDs).

“WHO is grateful to the Pakistan authorities for launching an investigation into this event, to determine more clearly the circumstances,” the news release said.

“Incidents like these highlight the incredible bravery of the more than 200,000 mainly Pakistani volunteers who run every vaccination campaign. The vaccinators, social mobilisers and frontline staff are the heroes of this campaign. “WHO, UNICEF and all polio partners remain committed to supporting the Government of Pakistan and the people of Pakistan in their efforts to eradicate polio,” the news release added.

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