Pakistan has launched a national drive to eradicate polio, but is facing challenges from the Taliban in the northwestern tribal regions of north and south Waziristan.
The government has kicked off its three-day campaign this morning. Local Taliban and Pakistani warlord Hafiz Gul Bahadur, whose followers are fighting Western troops in Afghanistan, have banned polio vaccinations in the northwestern tribal region of Waziristan to protest against US drone attacks.
They have condemned the immunisation campaign, which began on Monday, as a cover for espionage.
Difficulties in administering vaccinations saw Pakistan reach its highest rate of polio in a decade in 2011, with 198 new cases, compared to 144 in 2010.
Officials have warned that the Taliban ban could put 240,000 children at risk.
The use of the Hepatitis C immunisation campaign as a cover in the hunt for Osama Bin Laden has led the Taliban to view these campaigns as intelligence-gathering exercises, he said.
Shakeel Afridi, a Pakistani surgeon who was recruited by the CIA to help find bin Laden, was sentenced for 33 years on treason charges in May.