News Desk |
Peshawar Police arrested a man on Tuesday, April 23rd after he allegedly slandered and spread misinformation about the anti-polio vaccine in a series of videos that went viral on social media; a day after hundreds of children in different cities complained of illness and were admitted to hospitals in the midst of a province-wide anti-polio drive.
While these two are entirely unrelated, resident of Peshawar’s Mashokhel area, Nazar Muhammad, in Hayatabad Medical Complex shared videos on social media where children from a school in Badhber were admitted on Monday, April 22 with complaints of illness following administration of the anti-polio vaccine.
Hundreds of polio workers have been a victim of direct terrorist attacks by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) until slain Maulana Samiul Haq issued a fatwa against harming polio workers.
False Propaganda Against Polio Vaccination
In the video, Nazar alleges that administration of the vaccine causes children to fall unconscious. Then he turns to a group of children standing next to him and orders them to “fall asleep”. They then lie down on the hospital bed behind them as if they were unconscious.
When a boy gets up, Nazar tells him to “fall asleep” again, after which he lies down on the bed again, raising suspicion about the authenticity of the whole scenario.
Extraordinary Efforts of Polio Workers
Pakistan has been a polio-free country for the most part of a decade due to the tireless efforts of thousands of men and women traveling across the country, administering vaccines to children against the polio virus. Since 1988, Pakistan has seen an astounding 99 percent decline in polio cases.
Read more: PM Khan honors Swat’s valiant polio workers
In June 2018, the co-founder of Microsoft Corporation Bill Gates had called Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa. Gates appreciated Pakistan Army’s constant support towards the cause of the eradication of polio in Pakistan.
However, polio workers have been a victim of social backlash, religious misquotations, and violence for most part of Pakistan’s journey to being a polio-free country. Hundreds of polio workers have been a victim of direct terrorist attacks by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) until slain Maulana Samiul Haq issued a fatwa against harming polio workers.
Polio-Free Pakistan is Possible
As a public service message, Global Village Space would like to pledge to its loyal readers to spread awareness against social ignorance about polio vaccination. Poliovirus is a dangerous endemic which has crippled and killed millions across the world since its advent. Pakistan’s journey through the endemic is inspiring, but we need to keep moving forward to ensure that our future generations live in a polio-free world.