Polio refusal among Pakistani literates baffles officials

According to the official, the team faced an awkward situation when a deputy secretary of a ministry refused to administer polio drops to his children.

By: IANS | Islamabad | Published:April 1, 2017 1:54 pm
polio vaccination, polio vaccine, Pulse Polio Campaign, pune Pulse Polio Campaign, indian express news Photo for representational purpose. 

Educated people refusing to vaccinate their children during polio campaigns across Pakistan is an unfortunate situation, an official has said.

A large number of educated people did not want to vaccinate their children during the recent polio drive here, Dawn online quoted Additional Deputy Commissioner Abdul Sattar Isani as saying. He said all possible steps would be taken to ensure that every child was administered the polio drops. Cases were registered against those who refused to get their children vaccinated, he said.

Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq, the focal person on polio eradication in Pakistan, said she was against registering cases as administration of polio vaccine was a continuous process. She requested the media to play a role in creating awareness about polio vaccination and that it is safe. Samples collected from Islamabad and Rawalpindi were found positive for the poliovirus. A special polio campaign was launched on March 27 in the high risk areas.

“It was strange that we faced a strong resistance from even well-educated people. Though they did not have religious reasons but were not in favour of vaccinating their children,” a campaign official said.

“A majority of them claimed that they had administered the polio drops privately but failed to produce a vaccination card or certificate,” he said.

According to the official, the team faced an awkward situation when a deputy secretary of a ministry refused to administer polio drops to his children.

“A well-known doctor, who works in a private hospital, was involved in asking citizens not to administer polio drops to children.

According to Isani, some people believe that they should administer polio drops to their children privately. Ayesha Farooq said arrangements were made to send officials from house to house and convince people to vaccinate their children as refusals were reported from across the country. According to a polio programme report in March, 46,967 parents across Pakistan refused to vaccinate their children.

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