Washington [US]July 3 (ANI): Pakistan’s failure to eradicate polio reflects a severe lack of commitment and commitment on the part of the government and society to protect children from the threat of this devastating disease.
Despite receiving adequate foreign funding and running various campaigns over the years to tackle polio, there are some serious flaws in the state’s efforts to tackle this pernicious health problem, Global Start View reports.
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Moreover, despite numerous complementary vaccination campaigns, the failure of Pakistan’s polio eradication campaign is now obscuring the global landscape of the polio-free world.
At the root of the problem are financial and organizational deficits, as well as active conflict and insecurity, which have led to the continued failure of effective vaccination campaigns in the country.
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Pakistan and Afghanistan have faced significant security challenges along the border, including targeted attacks on polio workers and security guards and a complete ban on polio vaccination in certain areas. As Global Start View reports, differences in these regions are often listed as a significant barrier to polio eradication.
Many polio workers and security personnel have lost their lives during polio vaccination campaigns in recent years and such incidents are one of the main reasons why polio is still an epidemic in Pakistan.
According to media reports, about 70 polio workers have been killed in terrorist attacks since 2012, mainly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, according to Global Straight View.
The year 2012 marked the beginning of a series of violent attacks against polio workers across Pakistan, which began in July 2012 and has continued to this day.
The victims of the attack included frontline workers, international consultants, program staff, and even police officers providing security. Polio is highly active in several key districts of Pakistan, including Karachi (Sindh), Peshawar (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) and the Quetta block of Balochistan.
Polio cases have also been detected in North Indus and South Punjab. A large part of the case is among the Pashto-speaking population.
Global Straight View reports that Pakistan is falling prey to the polio virus as attacks on polio workers, doctors and security forces intensify.
Pakistani officials reported an eighth wild poliovirus case on June 3, 2022. The most recent incident is that a 20-month-old boy was paralyzed by wild polio
“After the first two cases in April, the polio program took immediate steps to cordon off the area and prevent the virus from spreading further, especially in the historic reservoirs of Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta. We are taking all possible steps to protect the benefits of the program, “said Federal Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel.
Pakistan is one of two countries, including neighboring Afghanistan, where polio is still endemic, although the number of cases has dropped dramatically in recent years. However, the third country on the list, Nigeria, has officially eradicated wild polio in 2020.
The Pakistani Taliban has long been the country’s most prominent opponent of the polio vaccination campaign. The reason for their opposition is bizarre. Some say its purpose is to sterilize Muslims. The Taliban have repeatedly threatened health workers involved in the campaign. Some say they received calls to stop working with “infidels” just before the attack.
Furthermore, in response to the misconception that the vaccines are not compatible with Islamic Sharia law, the Islamic Advisory Group (IAG) adopted a new anti-polio action plan in 2015 that included advocacy and communication activities, Global Straight View reports.
Interestingly, in many cases family members are reluctant to be vaccinated. Most parents refuse to give their children polio drops because of misconceptions about the vaccine. They believe it will harm or disinfect their children.
Such prudence is common in certain areas of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa tribal region. According to Global Straight View, parents refuse to vaccinate their children mainly due to lack of awareness, doubts about vaccine quality, misconceptions about vaccines and low confidence in vaccinators. (ANI)
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