ISLAMABAD: A group of Islamic scholars on Tuesday reiterated their support for the polio vaccination programme as part of the government’s efforts to root out the virus from its core reservoirs.
Members of the National Islamic Advisory Group (NIAG) met at the National Emergency Operations Centre on Tuesday to review national and provincial plans and ensure that it is aligned with the eradication programme plan outlined under the National Emergency Action Plan (NEAP) 2017-18.
Maulana Hanif Jalandhri, chairman of the NIAG’s core group, concluded that “vaccinating children against polio is in accordance with Islamic Shariah and teachings and considered a religious obligation as an effective means to protect children’s health and save their lives.”
“I am always keen for my own grandchildren not to miss their polio drops every time the vaccination teams knock on my door,” he added.
“Our support to the campaign will continue until Pakistan is polio-free and all our children are safe from polio,” Maulana Jalandhri declared.
Former federal minister and chairman of the Polio Plus Ulema Committee Maulana Hanif Tayyab extended his support to the polio campaign.
“Our duty and responsibility as religious community leaders is to ensure parents vaccinate their children under the age of five against this debilitating, but preventable disease, especially those who have not been vaccinated before or missed in the campaign. It is parents’ religious obligation to do so; ignoring this might leave these children paralysed for life,” he warned.
Prime Minister’s Focal Person for Polio Eradication Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq appreciated the role played by religious scholars in addressing questions and misconceptions of communities, families and parents.
“Despite the progress made to date in bringing the number of children paralysed by the polio virus to a record low, anything less than the protection of every single child in Pakistan from the menace of polio cannot be acceptable,” Senator Farooq said.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 13th, 2017.