After the success in polio eradication from Uttar Pradesh,the Rotary Internationals Muslim Ulama Committee has now decided to focus on promoting routine immunisation amongst the Muslim community in the state. The committee members,including prominent Muslim religious leaders of the state will convince the people to get their children vaccinated against all seven deadly diseases which are already a part of the routine immunisation programme run by the Government of India.
The decision was taken during the executive body meeting of the committee on the occasion of 108th foundation day of Rotary International held in Lucknow Saturday.
Talking about the success of the polio vaccination programme,the former director of Rotary International and chairman of the committee,Ashok Mahajan,said that there was a time when out of 1,600 cases of polio in the country,1,200 used to be from Uttar Pradesh. With the help of the Ulama Committee,the state has been able to control the spread of polio to the extent that there is no case of polio reported in the state for the past 34 months. However,if the routine immunisation of the state is not a success,there is a fear that polio might return to the country,because the South Asian region is still not polio free,he said,a reason why the religious leaders have decided to join hands and promote routine immunisation in the state.
When we started working,there were a lot of misconceptions amongst the Muslims of the state regarding polio vaccination. But I and other Ulamas started convincing people and advocating for polio vaccination during the Friday prayers,in various Urs and other religious occasions. The change was perceivable as Muslims started taking their children for polio vaccination, recounted Maulana Fazl-ur-rahman Walzee,Imam of the Tile Wali Masjid.
Lucknow,promising similar efforts for promoting routine immunisation henceforth.
The Imam,along with Maulana S Kalbe Sadiq,vice-president of All India Muslim Personal Law Board,Maulana Khalid Rasheed Farangimahli,president of the Ulama Council of India and Maulana Iqbal Qadri,president of the Sunni Ulama Council of Uttar Pradesh are amongst the executive members of the committee.
Seeing the resistance against polio vaccination in Pakistan with Talibans attack on health workers administrating polio vaccines last month,Mahajan said that the Ulama Committe of Uttar Pradesh is also planning a conference in May so that their message can be taken to Pakistan and Afghanistan,which,along with Nigeria,are still among the list of three polio endemic countries of the world. Mahajan said that coming from Muslim religious leaders from India,the message that polio vaccination is important will be more convincing for people of the same religion in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Nigeria and Pakistan have reported one case each of polio this year,said Mahajan. India was removed from the list of polio endemic countries of the world by World Health Organisation in 2012.