Challenges of Polio Vaccination

Noted religious scholar Maulana Samiul Haq administers oral polio vaccine to children. Credit: Ashfaq Yusufzai/IPSBy Ashfaq YusufzaiPESHAWAR, Pakistan, Mar 29 2016 (IPS)Pakistan and Afghanistan, the two remaining polio-endemic countries, have joined forces to eradicate poliomyelitis by vaccinating their children in synchronised campaigns. The two neighbouring countries — sharing a 2,400 kms long and porous border — have been bracketed as the stumbling block in the way of the global polio eradication drive. These militancy-riddled countries have been tackling Taliban’s opposition to the administration of oral polio vaccine (OPV) to children.Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), one of Pakistan’s four provinces along with the adjacent Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and the adjoining Nangarhar province of Afghanistan has been declared a polio-endemic geographical block by the World Health Organisation.Since January 2016, “we have started synchronised immunisation campaigns in KP, Fata and Afghanistan with a view to ensure vaccination of all children on both sides of the border”, KP’s health minister Shahram Tarakai told IPS.“There are about 100,000 children who refuse vaccination on both sides of the border. They pose a threat to the polio eradication campaign. Each child should get vaccinated,” he said.The government has enlisted support of religious scholars to do away with refusals against OPV, KP&r...
Source: IPS Inter Press Service - Health - Category: Global & Universal Authors: Tags: Active Citizens Asia-Pacific Civil Society Development & Aid Featured Health Humanitarian Emergencies Migration & Refugees Poverty & SDGs Religion Source Type: news

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