ISLAMABAD – The frequent business travelers of Pakistan will have to take vaccination of anti-polio virus before every foreign visit as within five days the International Health Regulatory (IHR) Emergency Committee to give its final recommendations regarding the imposition of travel restrictions on Pakistan.
The recommendations would be given to the World Health Organisation (WHO) in the next five days for Pakistan’s failure to curb the spread of the polio virus.
One senior official at the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination (NHSRC), said “Pakistan has not yet worked on a strategy to deal with the restrictions, if imposed. There would be a strict visa policy for people who will be travelling from Pakistan or coming in, he explained. It will become difficult for frequent business travelers to get vaccinated during every visit.”
Moreover, the labour force that goes to Middle East every year will also face huge difficulties, he added.
Pakistan’s fate hangs in the balance, as it broke its own 10-year record after 58 new polio cases surfaced in the first four month of this year, making it tougher for the country to clear its position before the international community.
Prime Minister’s focal Person on Polio Aysha Raza Farooq said that during the last two days Pakistan has made all-out effort to make its position clear to the international community. “We have clearly told them that 90 % of Pakistan is polio-free, however, the issue is only in FATA and in Karachi due to the security situation.”
The anti-polio organizations like WHO, UNICEF, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have been supporting Pakistan’s federal and provincial governments to eradicate polio in country. However, there is something not right. PakistanTribe had reported stories where anti-polio programmes like Sehat Ka Insaf have been marred with corruption allegations not from the opposition but also from the internal sources of political party which was running the campaign. PakistanTribe also reported several stories where anti-polio workers were either attacked, abducted or killed.