PAKISTAN VERSUS POLIO

Hospitalization of children was faked to sabotage polio vaccination drive

Reports suggested that around 700 children reportedly fell sick after Polio vaccination at Mashokhel Hospital in Badha Beer area of Peshawar. As a result, a mob of infuriated people staged a protest and vandalized the hospital.  A heavy contingent of police rushed to the hospital to overcome the lawless situation.

Several videos started flooding the social media, in particular, one wherein a man can be seen instructing young boys, who are in madrassa uniform, to lie on hospital beds and pretend to be unconscious, and the children can be seen following his orders.

However, soon it was exposed that this melodrama was an attempt to sabotage the countrywide anti-polio vaccination drive. A group of conspirators faked the illness and hospitalization of children in Mashokhel village to spread panic and misinformation about the polio campaign.

A real pity I must say. The premiere of the country rides on the  “Naya Pakistan”  fake manifesto and here he has kept mum about the whole issue.

Well at the first place why are Pakistani’s opposing polio vaccination?

There are few interesting stories doing the rounds.

First,  a section of Pakistani’s considers this polio campaign as a cover for spying. Probably it is the Bin Laden raid that has put vaccinators under the gun in Pakistan. The attack on Abbottabad remains a sensitive issue for the Pakistani government.

Second, they also believe that polio drop campaign is a Western conspiracy to make Muslim boys sterile. “Doctors at Mashokhel Hospital said the children did not get a reaction from the vaccine. There are parents in Mashokhel who do not want to administer the drops to their children and they could have fallen sick owing to other reasons.”

Third, some clerics claim falsely that the vaccine is made of pig products, which are taboo for Muslims.

Interesting isn’t it? A progressive nation “Naya Pakistan” averse to a polio vaccination drive.

If this was not enough few influential tweeple (so-called educated)  immediately blamed India for sending these contaminated medicines to Pakistan. Won’t blame them, its the psyche for anything and everything  India is the culprit, that’s what is fed to them from day one.

Health workers under attack in Pakistan

Polio eradication efforts along the Pakistan–Afghanistan border have faced unique security challenges, including targeted attacks on vaccination workers and outright bans on polio vaccination in certain regions. Every vaccination worker in Pakistan falls under suspicion. This is especially true in the mountains along the Afghan border, which are both high-contagion areas and Taliban and al Qaeda strongholds.

Taliban began to systematically kill polio workers, most of whom were local women getting paid $5 a day. The Taliban’s method was always the same: Two riders on a motorcycle would race up to a polio worker in the street and shoot the worker twice in the head. When the polio teams started using police escorts, the Taliban set off hidden roadside bombs that would wipe out an entire convoy. Clinics were bombed or set afire. The attacks occurred in Karachi, Peshawar, and throughout the tribal borderlands.

The international spread of poliovirus has been declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization. Pakistan is one of three countries in which endemic transmission of poliovirus has never been stopped.

In the video above we see the father of little  breaking down at her loss due to medical negligence. He says we don’t live in a good country. Well is this is how the majority feel? We need to be true to ourselves for once. Dig deeper and you would appreciate that the government cannot be a silent bystander or cry foul always. The problem is intrinsic, we as a society are responsible for our never-ending ideological and socioeconomic problems. 

 

24 Apr 19/Wednesday                                     Written by Afsana