Hurdles in Fata as anti-polio campaign starts tomorrow
PESHAWAR, July 14: As the three-day anti-polio campaign starts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and tribal areas from Monday (tomorrow), National Research and Development Foundation (NRDF) has described ongoing military operation and US-led drone attacks in parts of Federally Administered Tribal Areas as the main hurdle to conducting effective anti-polio campaigns.
Speaking at a press conference in Peshawar Press Club on Saturday, NRDF coordinator Abdul Jalil Paracha said that polio elimination drive would be efficiently launched if the operations and drone attacks were brought to an end.
He said that it was duty of the government to take effective steps for solution of the issues, as health workers were unable to move to the sensitive areas.
Mr Paracha supported tribal elders’ demand for linking Nato supplies with end to drone attacks, saying if such attacks were stopped the volunteers and health workers could easily get support of tribal elders to make the anti-polio campaign a success.
He said that drone attacks were against sovereignty and integrity of the country, which must be stopped at all costs.
Flanked by NRDF chairman Jalaluddin and EPI representative Dr Rahim Khattak, Mr Paracha said that ulema belonging to different schools of thought had been playing important role in elimination of polio in Kohat district.
Mr Jalaluddin said that a three-day anti-polio campaign would start from July 16 in Kohat district to vaccinate over 1.5 million children below five years. He urged parents to get their children vaccinated to save them from polio disease.
In Mansehra, the NRDF has sought legal action against 72 families for refusing oral polio drops to their children in different areas. This was revealed by Wasiur Rehman, the foundation’s country coordinator, at a press conference here on Saturday. He said that the organisation had asked the district coordination officer to take legal action against 72 families who refused polio vaccine to their children.
Meanwhile, arrangements for three-day polio drive in Mansehra and Torghar had been completed. In Upper Dir, children below five years of age will be administered polio vaccine during the campaign. Executive district officer (health) Dr Tila Mohammad told a press conference that elimination of polio from the district was their important goal and they would take all necessary steps in this regard.
Meanwhile, Lower Dir DCO Mahmood Aslam formally inaugurated polio vaccination drive at the DHQ hospital, Timergara.
Addressing a seminar organised in this connection, Mr Aslam said that all arrangements for the national immunisation drive had been finalised. Officials of district administration, health department and notables of the area attended the seminar.
In Lakki Marwat, MPA Munawar Khan called upon people to play their role to save children from polio. He inaugurated the three-day anti polio drive, starting from Monday, during a function here on Saturday.
According to a report from Ghalanai, about 84,300 children would be vaccinated during the anti-polio campaign in Mohmand Agency. Political agent Mohmand Agency Adil Saddiq inaugurated the campaign at the agency headquarters hospital, Ghalanai.
In Khar, tribal elders, ulema and political administration officials on Saturday appealed to tribesmen to vaccinate their children against polio. The appeal was made during a ceremony held to launch the anti-polio drive at the agency headquarters hospital here on Saturday.