Cause for concern: 11 doctors in Peshawar refuse polio drops

Published: April 19, 2017

PESHAWAR: Despite the fact that polio vaccine has been scientifically proven as harmless and religious scholars are also on board with that, a small fraction of highly educated people is constantly refusing to administer anti-polio drops to their children in Peshawar.

As the federal and provincial governments are striving to eradicate the virus, the educated lot, that too with some having Masters degree in medicine, refused to administer anti-polio drops to their children.

Earlier, people living in far-flung rural areas refused the anti-polio drops citing different reasons, but with the clarification that the drops are scientifically harmless the refusals sharply dropped from over 25,000 to around 650.

“Now, when we can claim to have successfully carried out anti-polo drives in areas where teams would think twice before going, the educated lot has become a serious problem for us,” a senior health official dealing with polio eradication campaigns in Peshawar told The Express Tribune on Tuesday.

Polio job ‘almost done but not finished’

The official, who requested anonymity, said almost all the doctors refusing polio drops were government employees. Besides doctors, two from Pakistan Air Force and dozens from Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) were among the refusing parents.

“When we told them about Section 3 of the Public Maintenance Order, they accepted it, but these are what we call chronic refusals which are found in refusing parents’ list after every anti-polio drive,” the official said.

The list for March 2017, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune, revealed that 11 doctors, including eight fathers, of which, two are currently employed at Lady Reading Hospital (LRH), were among the refusing parents.

Statistical data states 17 government servants, including a professor, were among the refusing parents besides six Wapda employees.

Peshawar polio-free since February

Peshawar’s Additional Deputy Commissioner Bashir Ahmad said parents of some 47 kids were convinced on Monday and anti-polio drops administered. He also confirmed that employees of the health department were among the refusing parents.

Keeping in view the constant number of refusal cases during anti-polio campaigns, the World Health Organisation launched ‘conversion drive’ to be carried out ahead of the anti-polio drives to convince refusing parents.

The first conversion drive was launched last week in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and was initially carried out in 10 K-P districts including Peshawar, Mardan, Charsadda, Nowshera, Swabi, Dera Ismail Khan, Bannu, Karak, Lakki Marwat and Tank where religious support persons besides religious scholars will be converting refusal cases.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Naveed
    Apr 19, 2017 - 10:45AM

    The drops has been cause of spreading Polio virus as they are carrying live polio virus which can infect infants when administered as these OPV drops has been banned in USA since year 2000 and US children are being vaccinated with IPV vaccine which contain inactive polio virus therefore, one might ask question why WHO is being given these drops to our children when they are risky. So I will not risk my children life by giving them such kind of vaccine hence it is advisable for parents if they are very caring about their children safety then they should give them IPV vaccination Recommend

  • numbersnumbers
    Apr 19, 2017 - 11:40AM

    Amazed that moderators passed your delusions against polio programRecommend

  • Tyggar
    Apr 19, 2017 - 11:55AM

    OPV is not banned in the US. IPV protects the person from polio but does not prevent the polio virus from being carried around in the intestines and transmitting to others. Hence IPV is used only where polio has been eradicated such as the US.

    OPV is used in places where polio virus is endemic such as Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Nigeria etc since it not only prevents polio but also the virus in the intestines hence preventing transmission of virus from person to person.

    My doctor gave my son IPV in his first year but I follow up several times every year with the OPV drops provided free by the government Recommend

  • israr
    Apr 19, 2017 - 12:07PM

    “Due to the risks associated with the large quantities of poliovirus needed for IPV production, following the global cessation of poliovirus transmission high level (BSL-3/polio) containment of all manufacturing and quality control areas where live virus is handled must be implemented.”
    Also its like 5 in 1 children can get polio virus if not vaccinated so it can be good luck even if you do not get ur kids vaccination, u need to not take any chance IPV or OPV its fine just get it done do not take chance.Recommend

  • Dr.Ayesha S.
    May 3, 2017 - 5:57PM

    Vaccinations mess up a child’s natural immunity. They should be avoided as much as possible. Who would like to inject their kids with mercury, aluminium , formaldehyde and hundreds of other harmful substances. Do your research before stabbing your child with vaccines including polio.Recommend

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