Paramedics to boycott polio drive in Bajaur
KHAR, Feb 15: The paramedical staff in Bajaur Agency on Friday announced to boycott the coming polio campaign in the region in protest against the World Health Organisation officials’ alleged misbehaviour.
The announcement was made after a meeting of Bajaur Paramedical Association here.
BPA chairman Ghulam Hazrat chaired the meeting, where office-bearers of the association and senior staff of the local health deportment also showed up.
Participants showed concern over the WHO officials’ alleged misbehaviour with paramedical staff in the region and decided that paramedics would not take part in the polio drive beginning on Monday (Feb 18).
“We condemn the misbehaviour of our colleagues by the WHO officials and our boycott of polio activities will continue until they are not transferred from the agency,” Mr Ghulam Hazrat said.
He said paramedics were the backbone of health services, especially polio vaccination, and that they always did their job with commitment.
“We are not ready to take part in the upcoming polio activities in the agency under the command of Dr Shaukat and Dr Sher Khan from WHO,” he added.
Mr Ghulam Hazrat said the local administration, health department and WHO would be to blame if paramedics boycotted polio vaccination and therefore, they all needed to properly address the matter without delay.
“We have already informed all the people concerned about our boycott,” he said.
Local health officials have expressed concern about the paramedics’ decision, which, they said, would have negative bearing on vaccination.
“The decision of boycotting polio campaign by paramedical staff is a matter of serious concern for us because the health deportment can’t run the campaign without their,” an official said.
The official said around 224,690 children in the region could be adversely affected if polio campaign was not carried out.
Meanwhile, an official of the local administration said the administration had taken note of the matter and was trying to convince paramedics to review their decision.
He said if paramedics didn’t take part in the vaccination campaign, then strict action would be taken against them.