The District Paramedical Association of Peshawar on Tuesday asked the provincial health department to pay salaries for nine vaccination campaigns, claiming workers have been performing duties under constants threats.
District Paramedical Association President Muhammad Anwar Khan and General Secretary Muhammad Zakir Yousafzai protested outside the Peshawar Press Club along with dozens of male and female vaccinators, saying payment of salaries has been pending for the last
“We are vaccinating children against crippling diseases under severe danger and making it our prime responsibility. But the government has not paid us for nine campaigns, which is making vaccinators feel deprived,” said Anwar. “The government is paying us a minimal amount and yet it is delaying the wages,”
“The officials working in the vaccination programme are extracting higher salaries, but those working in the field are receiving a few rupees,” claimed Anwar. The association demanded the provincial government to release the amount before Eidul Fitr and threatened to hold further protests at all levels, saying their patience was running out.
Four anti-polio workers have been gunned down in Peshawar alone in a series of attacks on vaccinators across the country since December last year.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has condemned the attacks, expressing concern over the safety of health workers. “We request the Ulema and religious leaders to step forward and play their role in making Pakistan a safe country for health workers,” WHO’s polio chief Dr Elias Durry said in a statement earlier this year.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 31st, 2013.