People in villages in Charsadda have refused to administer polio drops to their children, demanding that the vaccination only be conducted by teams from Mohmand.
Awami National Party’s (Mohmand) President Nisar Mohmand told The Express Tribune that 25 villages in Charsadda have refused to immunise their children in the next polio campaign starting in October. The ANP leader said that thousands of children will not be administered polio drops in Sro Kallay, Hafiz Korona and other villages that were detached from the Mohmand Agency in 1998 and merged into Charsadda.
A leader of the former resistance movement against the merging of villages into Charsadda, Jalil Khan, said that if the government had decided to immunise children then it should be done so in accordance to local demands. Those demands, he said, were that the drops be given from Mohmand. He claimed the rationale behind this was that if the Charsadda district government was responsible for administering polio drops then it should also start work on other development projects in the area.
The executive district officer of health for Charsadda, Dr Fazal Akbar, said: “The Charsadda district government has to decide what to do next.” He added that their demands were genuine and should not be viewed as a refusal and instead should be seen as a demand for an alternative arrangement for polio vaccinations.
Charsadda Assistant Coordination Officer Naeem Khan said that it was mainly two villages, Sro Kallay and Hafiz Korona, who were refusing to allow the teams.
Hoping to come to a conclusion on the issue, the district government has decided to hold a jirga with elders of the area. Last month, one polio case was registered in Charsadda.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 29th, 2012.
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