Former Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Ameer Qazi Hussain Ahmed launched a three-day anti-polio drive in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) by administering polio drops to children at the Peshawar Press Club on Saturday.
The event was organised by the National Research and Development Foundation (NRDF) in collaboration with Unicef and the K-P Health Department.
Religious scholars, health officials and Unicef representatives were also present at the occasion. The campaign is part of the three days National Immunisation Days (NIDs) program that will be launched across the country from October 24, coinciding with the World Polio Day.
Speaking on the occasion, Ahmed asserted that Islamic teachings emphasise taking care of one’s health and, thus, administering polio vaccines was neither harmful nor forbidden in Islam.
Qazi added that people should not only protect their children from the scourge of the infirmity but also be part of the effort in eradicating polio from the country.
“The role of Ulema is of great significance in educating people on the issue. They are bound to promote and support the anti-polio campaign for making our country polio free,” he said.
Pakistan is one of the countries in the world where polio is endemic with the number of polio cases increasing in an exponential manner.
There are 131 polio patients in the country according to World Helath Organisation (WHO) in Pakistan.
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) contribute a major part to the polio case count – 11 from K-P and 37 from Fata, which demonstrates that people from the province and tribal areas need to join hands to save their children from the crippling disease.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 23rd, 2011.