Polio eradication: Previously prohibited areas to receive vaccines

45 officers trained to assist polio campaign, provide vaccination at transit points.

Zulfiqar Ali/noorwali Shah July 25, 2012

PESHAWAR/ DI KHAN: The political administration of Khyber Agency has trained 45 khasadars to assist the polio campaign and provide vaccination at transit points.

Agency surgeon Dr Azam Khan told The Express Tribune that special training was being imparted to the forces, which will be sent to Landi Kotal and Jamrud tehsils to vaccinate children.

“The officers will inoculate children at various checkpoints. In particular, people arriving from Bara tehsil and Tirrah Valley due to security problems will be given drops, so that no child is left without vaccination,” Khan said.

He added that the political agent has hired 30 volunteers, on a salary of Rs10,000 per month to reach those areas which are inaccessible to polio teams.“Bara is most at risk of polio and if we find any opportunity to send our teams there, we will do so.”

“We have deployed teams of 10 people at Torkham border and vaccinated around 32,000 children below the age of five last month,” he said.

On July 16, the polio drive in Bara tehsil had to be deferred putting 111,556 children at risk.

Meanwhile, the political agent of South Waziristan, Shahidullah Khan, told journalists that the campaign is going on successfully in Mehsud areas, where no one has refused to vaccinate their children so far.

He added that the polio campaign in Wana and adjacent areas has not been launched as yet, but a 20-member team comprising local religious clerics and tribal elders has been formed to negotiate with the Taliban.

The campaign will commence when negotiations succeed. Earlier, the Mullah Nazir-led Taliban outfit had issued a decree against polio vaccination in Wana and warned that until drone attacks continue in tribal areas, vaccination will not be allowed.