Shocking revelations: 154 kids denied polio drops

Published: June 6, 2012

" If the vaccine is really harmless, the chief minister should administer the drops to the children in his family on live television," Mother of three Farzana Bibi. ILLUSTRATION: TRIBUNE COMMON

GUJRANWALA: 

As many as 154 households in the Gujranwala district refused to allow administration of polio vaccine to their children during the recent two-day district government’s anti-police drive on June 1 and June 2.

This was revealed in the summary report of the drive that was submitted to the assistant commissioner on June 2.

After some workers were dismissed by the executive district officer last year for slippages in the campaign, workers of the district government and the Revenue Department collaborated for this year’s campaign, held from June 1 to June 2.

The report said that 154 families did not allow the immunisation workers to vaccinate their children during the campaign, saying they believed it was against Pakistan’s children.

After receiving the report, Assistant Commissioner Syed Salahuddin formed special teams to visit these homes and persuade the parents to allow the workers to immunise their children.

The assistant commissioner also visited some of the homes himself to talk to the parents.

Later, talking to The Express Tribune, he said they were successful in convincing 60 families, while the workers have been directed to continue visiting the rest of the homes, until their children were vaccinated.

He said there was a need to create awareness among the people. He said the refusal to allow vaccination was shocking and that he will take up the issue with the chief minister. He said the district government planned to sit down with local clerics to discuss the issue.

Hafiz Shafiq, a local cleric, said he believed that the polio immunisation drops were un-Islamic. He said he had three sons, Muavia, 4; Umer, 2; and six-months-old Nasr. He said none of them had been given polio drops.

He said he believed that the polio campaign was an American conspiracy.

Rashida Bibi, mother of two, said she had stopped giving her sons polio drops because they caused pain in their legs. “For two consecutive administrations, my sons complained of pain in their legs.”

She said with her husband’s consent, she had decided to stop giving her children polio drops.

WHO Punjab team leader Dr Deborah Bettels had earlier told The Express Tribune that the vaccine was guaranteed to be safe and effective and had no side effects. She had said that doubting the efficacy of the vaccine could have grave repercussions.

Farzana Bibi, a mother of three, said if the vaccine was really harmless, the chief minister should administer the drops to the children in his family on live television.

Published In The Express Tribune, June 6th, 2012.

Reader Comments (10)

  • let there be peace
    Jun 6, 2012 - 12:32PM

    They should consider mixing oral polio vaccine common water sources in Pakistan.

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  • 11:23
    Jun 6, 2012 - 1:08PM

    Dr. Afridi: Thank you very much!

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  • Imran Con
    Jun 6, 2012 - 2:27PM

    The leg pain one might be worth looking into but not due to foul play. The others… would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.

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  • Err...
    Jun 6, 2012 - 3:36PM

    No but for our liberals Shakil Afridi still very much a hero – polio infected kids or not!!!

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  • itp
    Jun 6, 2012 - 5:29PM

    inshallah we will be the only country in the world where polio exists if we continue with this…

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  • Hafeez
    Jun 6, 2012 - 6:55PM

    The best way to get around the resistance against polio vaciination is to get CM and other politicians’s children vaccinated on TV. it might be helpful to include some religious leaders vaccinating their kids on media.

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  • ali
    Jun 6, 2012 - 7:12PM

    what about those children who get IPV vaccine instead. They don’t need to get OPV. OPV has its effects and many specialist doctors advise/administer IPV instead.

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  • Zalim Singh
    Jun 6, 2012 - 9:08PM

    title is mis-leading. It should say- ignorance rife on polio.

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  • Sayed
    Jun 7, 2012 - 12:04AM

    Has anyone from the above googled about polio drops? Why those are banned in some countries including some Industrialized countries? Why those drops are not been produced locally … It is not a matter of deficiency in technology as a matter of fact? Are polio drops the only remedy that the medical technology has come through? Why US is spending huge sums through UN agencies to popularize it?
    Guys, think twice before you get your genome altered by the corporate vampires.

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  • let there be peace
    Jun 7, 2012 - 2:50PM

    @Sayed:
    Wow genome alteration! They must be conspiring to convert Muslim genome into human genome.

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