Deadlock leaves children vulnerable to polio

Published: January 5, 2014

Khyber Agency officials yet to satisfy polio workers’ demands. PHOTO: PPI

JAMRUD: 

The deadlock between political administration officials and polio workers continues as the two failed to reach a consensus on resuming work on polio vaccinations in Khyber Agency.

The meeting, held on Saturday, was also attended by tribal elders.

Khyber Agency Paramedics Association Senior Vice President Khan Mir Mullagori told The Express Tribune workers are not ready to carry out the vaccination campaign at any cost. He said Khyber Agency Political Agent Azam Wazir had called the workers’ strike ‘unjust’ even though Wazir is yet to fulfil their demands of providing “fool-proof” security and compensating families of slain polio workers.

The officials of the political administration did not comment on the meeting.

After Jamrud, the agency’s anti-polio drive suffered another setback when workers refused to conduct a vaccination drive in Landikotal on January 2.

The political administration and health department had decided to launch a campaign in Landikotal on January 6 but postponed it when polio teams in the tehsil cited security concerns.

The spike in such refusals led health authorities to provide basic immunisation training to 200 khasadar officials recently, but they too are reluctant to take part in the campaign because of the associated risks. Khasadars shared this new task was rather perplexing as their actual job is to combat militancy; not vaccinate children.

Meanwhile, according to a notification issued by the FATA Secretariat, Khyber Agency Surgeon Dr Sameen Shinwari has been replaced by Dr Rehman Afridi who was previously at the Landikotal Civil Hospital. Shinwari had applied for a transfer on December 26 last year.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 5th, 2014. 

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Reader Comments (4)

  • Ahmed
    Jan 5, 2014 - 6:35PM

    for those people who will post hate comments Jamrud Khyber Agency is part of FATA and FATA is comes under Federal Government.

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  • Jibran
    Jan 5, 2014 - 7:32PM

    FATA Falls directly under the federal government. People of FATA are children of a lesser god. The well being of their young ones is not of interest for the government.

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  • Jibran
    Jan 5, 2014 - 7:38PM

    Hamid Gul must be tried for his crimes against humanity. He is directly responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands, and many more disabled men, women and children.

    Recommend

  • Dr.Shamsi
    Jan 6, 2014 - 2:45AM

    What a tragedy for Pakistan as children are the future of a nation. The tragedy is further compounded by the fact that the miserable health situation in Pakistan is actually caused by people who consider themselves “well wishers” of the country. According to international institutions/NGOs, Pakistan already has the largest number of people with disabilities and other defects which, thanks to inter-family marriages, have become endemic. If polio prophylactic programme is not carried out nationwide, the forecast is that every third Pakistani will be a cripple in 20 years from now. Every newborn Pakistani infant is vulnerable to the dreaded polio – an alarming prospect for a nation that does not even have basic sanitation and healthcare facilities, leave alone sophisticated equipment and other paraphernalia needed to look after the health of the people. Can you blame many countries for insisting that Pakistani passport holders,applying for foreign visas, produce polio vaccination certifications documenting that the traveller had polio vaccination, at least six months before his visa application? As it is, Pakistani passport holders were not welcome anywhere in the world; the polio endemic is another reason for preventing them from travelling abroad.

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