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Alarm In KP As Fresh Cases Of Polio Confirmed In Bannu and Lakki Marwat

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Peshawar

Polio virus is not under control as the total number of patients in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa reached fifty, with more than twenty cases in Bannu alone this year.

Two fresh cases of polio were confirmed in district Bannu and Lakki Marwat on Monday which rang alarm bells for the team working to eradicate polio virus in Pakistan.

Prime Minister’s focal person for polio eradication Baber Atta took to Twitter and accepted that polio cases had surfaced in Lakki Marwat and Bannu.

There are 50 polio patients in KP, taking the total number of cases in the country to 66. This year, district Bannu suffered a large number of cases of polio with 22 cases of polio discovered there.

According to Babar Atta, the new victims in Bannu and Lakki Marwat are a six and two-year-old child.

In the current year, six cases of polio were reported in Sindh, while five cases surfaced in Balochistan and five in Punjab.

Polio officials working to eradicate the disease blame the disease’s persistence on masses’ lack of trust in the polio vaccination.

Babar Atta said, “We are working to evolve a proper strategy to curb the spread of the polio virus.” He added that both Bannu and Lakki Marwat have most of the anti-polio campaigns and refusal cases.

Elaborating on the increase in number of polio cases in both districts, Babar Atta further said that Bannu and Lakki Marwat are areas where vaccination of kids against polio is considered an ugly tradition.

The prime minister’s focal person for polio eradication also claimed that Pakistan’s polio programme had the best public health experts from across the world.

In a video message, Babar Atta added that the main issue behind the discovery of most cases in Lakki Marwat is the refusal of parents.

“Over the years, they’ve let children be deprived of polio drops, parents don’t trust but we have tried all the best to immunize children,” said Atta.

He added that we can’t clear the environment from the polio virus until we reach all those children who miss polio drops.

He further stated that they are going to run a high-level campaign in winter to clear the environment from the polio virus.

When Naya Daur investigated from a religious scholar in Bannu about people’s anti-vaccination stance, he said, “Religion doesn’t stop anyone from taking care and protecting themselves from diseases.”

“Even non-Muslim doctors could be reached for treatment,” he added.

The religious scholar stated that it was not a religious matter rather it had more to do with enmity with western culture and was a socio-political issue of the region.

He added, “Many people come to me and ask if it is true that the polio vaccine makes the kids adopt western culture.”

He was of the view that the government needed to further educate the masses from a proper medium about polio vaccination and the concept of vaccination.

The religious scholar blamed the anti-polio stance of the people on the socio-political situation which left the people less educated and the region underdeveloped. It was due to this, the scholar opined, that people believed in things like polio vaccination leading to infertility.

He added, “All these stories were made during the Afghan jihad era in order to make people reject western culture as they had waged war on Afghanistan.”

The religious scholar added that propaganda against polio vaccination was not a matter of religious difference with Jews and Christians but was a socio-political issue. In order to completely get rid of the polio virus, people from different walks of life can perform a productive role by active participation in polio vaccination campaigns.

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