Today is the last day of a three-day nation-wide polio campaign and the vaccination teams made efforts to reach out to each and every child of the country but it is not enough to eradicate the disease.
Regrettably, the most vulnerable region, FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas), is again being left out due to a ban imposed by Taliban. They took this step to record their protest against drone strikes and on the so-called religious grounds.
It indicates a couple of things. Firstly, Taliban are still holding control of the major portions of the Tribal Areas and they are effectively running a parallel government despite claims by the security agencies.
Secondly, the government hasn’t done any groundwork to ensure that the vaccination campaign should successfully reach in the troubled areas.
It is vital to mention here the highest numbers of cases of polio were registered from FATA this year. The ban imposed by Taliban put one hundred and fifty thousand children at risk by refusing them polio vaccines.
Although we have been doing politics on every issue, we even didn’t spare a crippling disease like polio and are putting lives of our children at risk.
We failed to wipe out polio from our country despite countless campaigns only because of this attitude. Owing to effective and universal vaccination, the rest of the world has turned itself a polio-free region.
The occurrence and reoccurrence of polio cases not only destroys image of the county in the world but also renders our own children handicapped for life.
The propaganda carried out by religious and extremist outfits against polio mainly disturbed the vaccination campaigns. They project that the vaccines hamper fertility and people in far flung areas of the country blindly believe their logics.
Such steps mainly disturb efforts of the government and private organizations to eradicate the crippling disease.
The latest edict by Taliban was quite shocking for everyone. In order to record protest against drone strikes, they put thousands of children to face risk of polio.
One can hopes that the government will extend the vaccination campaign to each and every nook and corner of the country by taking help of the elected representatives, opinion-makers, media representatives and religious scholars.