Red Flags for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as Thousands Deprived of Anti Polio Vaccine

Polio Virus in KPK. PakistanTribe.Com

PESHAWAR – Officials have revealed a very drastic news about Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) run Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province where parents of as many as 4,318 children refused to let their kids have anti-polio drops.

One in charge of the Polio Emergency Cell in Peshawar told PakistanTribe‘s correspondent on Wednesday that only 253,402 children were vaccinated in Charsadda during a two-day anti-polio campaign.

She went on and said “We have received data from Polio Emergency Cell of Charsadda which is full of errors. Interestingly even after three days of delay, Peshawar’s Polio Emergency Cell did not bother to send any data at all. Now this is the issue. First time in the history everyone at top management has agreed to end polio virus and we are getting foreign aid to do so but unfortunately our line management staff is not equipped with required skills.”

She also said that a departmental complaint against Peshawar’s Polio Emergency Cell was initiated. “A complaint was initiated but to be honest what happens to such complaints and inquiries… we all know that.”

Read the complete archive of Polio Virus cases in Pakistan by clicking here – Polio Virus Archives

In Pakistan till now 243 Polio cases were reported during this year, 155 cases from Federally Administrative Tribal Area (FATA), 49 from Khyber Pakhtukhwa (KP), 25 cases from Sindh and 11 from Blochistan. FATA and KP together are responsible for more than 90 per cent of the total cases.

The militancy-hit tribal belt is one of the most riddled areas of Pakistan by terrorism. Due to a strong hold of militant groups, anti-polio drives were never an easy task over there. The remaining proportion was leveled by factors like Dr Shakil Afridi who believed to be launched a fake polio campaign in order to dig into an alleged hideout of Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.

“Now militants in those areas are acting against anti-polio drives for couple of reasons. One, they believe that polio vaccine is against Islam as it contains prohibited (haraam) substances. Second, polio workers are actually spies. Third, revenge of Osama Bin Laden’s death should be taken from these polio workers,” one female doctor located in Peshawar told PakistanTribe‘s correspondent.

It is also pertinent to mention here that the anti-polio organizations like WHO, UNICEF, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations have been supporting Pakistan’s federal and provincial governments to eradicate polio from 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 PTI. PakistanTribe also reported several stories where anti-polio workers were either attacked, abducted or killed.

About the author

Hissan Khan

Hissan Khan is currently working as the Editorial Head of Pakistan Tribe's Islamabad Office. Having work as current affairs host, news analyst and C4D expert, Hissan holds a good command over communication and development strategies.

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