Health

Anti-polio drive to kick off from 16th

The anti-polio drive will commence from the 16th of this month in Rawalpindi.

The campaign will be held over a total of five days in which the target would be to immunize 796,683 children to rid the menace of polio from the city.

Keeping in mind past events in Pakistan when volunteers were killed in scores throughout the country for administering anti-polio drops, the District Coordination Officer directed relevant authorities to provide polio workers and volunteers with adequate security required to fulfill their duties. The DCO made it known that in case the volunteers failed to perform their tasks up to the mark or if negligence on their part takes place, strict action would be taken against them.

The DCO also stressed the importance of the role that parents had to play in this regard and urged them to come out and join hands with polio officials in eliminating this menace from the country.

Due to a host of problems, such as terrorism and illiteracy, Pakistan has been struggling to grapple the menace of polio across the country. Just this Saturday, 3 new cases of polio emerged, highlighting the need to battle a disease that was only prevalent in Nigeria and Afghanistan, besides Pakistan itself. The country has had to face much embarrassment worldwide on account of being among the only three nations to not control the influence of polio. The World Health Organization had imposed travel ban restrictions on Pakistanis who failed to produce a polio vaccination certificate.

Dr.Shakil Afridi, who had worked as an American spy in abetting the May 2 2011 attack in Abbotabad which lead to the elimination of Osama Bin Laden, is the main reason the general population mistrusts polio campaigns. Since then, militants and the Taliban have targeted polio campaigns countrywide. Another reason why polio campaigns and drives haven’t been successful in immunizing a large number of children, is a common belief among the population that it causes infertility or is against Islamic teachings.

A female polio volunteer becomes victim to a targeted terrorist attack.

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