The doctor traveled from village to village in Pakistan, part of a group of health workers providing vaccinations to prevent disease.

But this doctor was employed not by a local nonprofit group or nongovernmental organization, but by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. And in addition to working with a vaccine program, he was trying to collect DNA specimens as part of a U.S. attempt to locate Osama bin Laden.

The U.S. government has not denied its participation in the fake vaccination program, which came to light in 2011, but news reports indicate that the Pakistani government has jailed the doctor, whose efforts reportedly did not contribute to finding bin Laden. What the work did do is increase already prevalent concerns among Pakistanis and others suspicious of the vaccination program, said Robert Lawrence, MD, professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and an APHA member. And it may have contributed to ongoing violence against health workers that has included the murder of nearly 20 health workers participating in polio vaccination work in the past year.

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