Polio drive: Action ordered against parents refusing vaccines

Two doctors suspended from service for negligence.

Kashif Zafar November 15, 2014


The district government has decided to arrest parents who refused to let their children receive polio drops. A crackdown against 113 such families starts on Sunday (today).

DCO Zahid Saleem Gondal has directed the administration to give the families one last chance to receive polio vaccine. Otherwise, they will be taken into custody.

The anti-polio vaccination in Multan had concluded on Thursday.

The Home Department had earlier approved the plan to take action against such parents.

Additional District Collector Ali Anan Qamar, Health Executive District Officer Dr Iftikhar Qureshi and operations SSP Chaudhry Saleem will head the operation. Around 300 police personnel, including Elite Force, will accompany them.

According to official estimates, around 600 children from the 113 families have not been administered polio drops.

The families have been refusing the polio vaccine for the past five years. The district administration had asked community leaders and religious scholars to persuade the parents. However, they have not changed their minds yet.

No polio case has been reported from the district for the past three years.

Gondal said he had personally monitored several polio campaigns.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the provincial government have issued stern orders to the district administrations to ensure 100 per cent vaccination coverage.

Qamar has been directed to contact the parents, who are refusing polio vaccination for their children. Earlier, the parents attended three counselling sessions.

The administration had asked 40 religious scholars and social activists to persuade them. However, so far they refused to change their stance on vaccination.

Police have been alerted for taking action against the parents.

Gondal told The Express Tribune that the families had been refusing vaccination for three years. “So far, polio virus has not been detected in the areas where these families reside. They usually leave the district when polio vaccination drives are underway.

This year the government has given us complete support for a crackdown against them,” he said.

Gondal has also suspended two doctors for their poor performance during the anti-polio vaccination campaign in Multan. He has issued show-cause notices to four other employees of the Health Department for their negligence. The doctors are: Khalid Masood Awan of Basti Malook Basic Health Unit (BHU), Abdul Saleem of Jahangeerabad BHU.

Show-cause notices have been issued to Qaais Bhutta, the sanitary inspector Bhakkar Aarbi BHU, vaccinator Raheel and lady health supervisors Azra Batool and Sumera Attiq.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 16th, 2014.


Karim Khan | 8 years ago | Reply

It is unacceptable. It's an open violation of human rights and completely illegal of administration to persecute parents for refusing vaccination. The admin should be ashamed and apologize for such acts of intimidating civilians.

Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ

Most Read