Successful fight: No polio case identified in Swat in two years

Credit given to religious scholars for backing immunisation efforts through edict.

Fazal Khaliq February 27, 2012


The National Research and Development Foundation (NRDF) in Swat issued a statement claiming that no polio case has been identified during the last two years in Swat Valley.

While talking at the Swat press club, NRDF along with religious scholars, said that it was wrongly propagated that polio inoculation is anti-Islamic, due to which many parents in rural areas refused to let polio drops administered to their children.

Dr Anwar Jamal appreciated the efforts of NRDF to eliminate polio virus from the area and said that no polio case had been identified in the previous two years.

He said that NRDF will initiate a three-day polio eradication campaign starting from March 13 in areas where polio campaigns could not be carried out due to harsh weather. Arrangements have already been made for 10 such Union Councils of Swat, where 134 teams will administer the vaccination to the 54,000 remaining children.

The religious scholars of the region were given credit for helping accomplish this milestone and for playing an active role in promoting the polio eradication campaign.

“The negative propaganda from some forces ruined the anti-polio campaign in Swat which formed a group of parents refusing polio inoculation to their children. Fortunately, Ulema in Pakistan unanimously agreed that polio drops are legal and issued a fatwa in favour of it that not only claims it is Halal but also very important,” a renowned religious scholar of Khwaza Khela, Maulana Samiul Haq, said.

He appealed to all the parents to have their children vaccinated for polio and asked people from all walks of life to take part in the awareness campaign and promote complete eradication of the polio virus.

During the mayhem from 2007 to 2009, Swat Valley was a high risk area for polio virus and the total cases had exceeded 20, according to Dr Badar Munir who is working with the United Nations Children’s Fund for eradication of polio.

Maulana Noor Badshah, a member of Itihadul Madaris said that in order to produce a healthy young generation of Pakistanis, children must be immunised against polio.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 27th, 2012.


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