L’islamisme militant et son scepticisme à l’égard des vaccins

LONDRES – Nous savons comment faire disparaître la poliomyélite. Depuis les années 1980, une initiative internationale de vaccination dirigée par l’Organisation mondiale de la santé a pourchassé le virus au bord de l’extinction. Une maladie qui a tué ou paralysé un demi-million de personnes annuellement en infecte maintenant quelques centaines seulement.

Les contraintes empêchant d’éliminer complètement le virus ne sont pas de nature médicale ou technique, mais dues à la résistance politique aux campagnes de vaccination. En fait, les quelques régions où le virus continue de résister ont des facteurs communs inquiétants. Depuis 2012, 95 % des cas de poliomyélite sont recensés dans cinq pays – l’Afghanistan, le Pakistan, le Nigeria, la Somalie et la Syrie – tous des pays où font rage des insurrections islamistes. Afin d’éliminer à jamais la poliomyélite, il est nécessaire de connaître cette corrélation.

L’opposition islamiste aux programmes de vaccination est souvent attribuée à la croyance que les vaccins constituent une conspiration de l’Occident visant à nuire aux musulmans et que les vaccins rendent les enfants stériles, les infectent avec le VIH ou bien ont étés en contact avec du porc. Mais il est important de noter que les djihadistes en Syrie et en Afghanistan ont été en grande partie favorables aux campagnes de vaccination contre la poliomyélite. Pour détruire le virus, il faudra passer outre ces caricatures d’islamistes les décrivant de violents fanatiques opposés à la science occidentale et examiner de plus près les différents contextes politiques dans lesquels l’initiative d’éradication a jusqu’ici échoué.

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