The United Nations has made a final push to eliminate polio from the face of the planet by 2017, but has faced immense opposition in the three remaining countries where the virus remains endemic, namely Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria.

In April, the Pakistani Taliban (Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP) had announced its support for vaccination campaigns within Afghanistan and said that it would not oppose vaccination campaigns. Polio vaccine workers have been killed in the three countries that still have rampant virus infections because of rumors that the vaccination spreads sterility and HIV, and because the CIA plan that caught and killed Osama Bin laden used a fake vaccination program to gain DNA samples from the terrorist leader's family members.

"If they can convince us that these polio drops are Islamic and the spy agencies are not using it to kill our fighters, we would have no opposition to any vaccination drive which is in the public interest," TTP spokesman, Ehsanullah Ehsan, told

"We are ready to support the drive if our apprehensions are removed. We will not oppose it if it is ensured it [polio campaign] is not used for serving the United States and other foreign interests," he continued. At the same time Ehsan denied that the Pakistani Taliban had any part in the murder of polio vaccine workers, but stated that they did have their reservations about the program. "We will not attack any public welfare institution and non-military installations."

Other media outlets are reporting that on Monday, the Afghan Taliban is issuing similar statements. The leadership has told its fighters and disciples not to obstruct the work of vaccinators, "which work for the healthcare of the helpless people of our country." They continued that "The campaign should be harmonized with the regional conditions, Islamic values and local cultural traditions."

"According to the latest international medicine science, the polio disease can only be cured by preventive measures ie the anti-polio drops and the vaccination of children against this disease. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan supports and lends a hand to all those programs which works for the health care of the helpless people of our country," said a stament issued by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

This is good news coming on the heels of reports coming out of Somalia that an infant has been diagnosed witht he infection as the government readies a vaccination campaign with 350,000 doses beginning tomorrow. This was the first reported polio case in the country since 2007 and since country wide polio vaccination campaigns ceased in 2009 amid political unrest and Islamic extremism.