Polio vaccine ban

A child receives oral polio vaccine during a 2...

According to media reports, thousands of Pakistani children are at risk of polio disease. Militant organizations have banned polio vaccination campaigns in their areas. According to health officials, 160,000 children in North Waziristan and 80,000 children in South Waziristan are at risk of polio disease because the government in not able to organize a vaccination campaign due to security concerns. The vaccination campaign in the tribal areas is the worst-affected after last year’s fake vaccination campaign organized by the CIA to hunt down Osama Bin Laden in Abbotabad

The Pakistani doctor who organized the fake vaccination campaign has been sentenced to 33 years. After the Abbotabad operation, several foreign medical teams have left the tribal areas because of security concerns. Local health official also received threats from militants. Militants have already banned health workers from entering South and North Waziristan for immunization campaigns. According to health officials, due to the ban imposed by militants a record number of polio cases have been reported this year. Due to last year’s floods and army operations, thousands of families have migrated to temporary shelters and do not have proper medical and sanitation facilities. The government is not able to reach thousands of children due to security reasons, which is very unfortunate. 

Khawaja Umer Farooq, Jeddah

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