Dawn News

PESHAWAR/TIMERGARA, Oct 24: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Masood Kausar on Wednesday said most restive areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata had been made accessible to vaccinators for the coming immunisation campaign, while the access to the rest would be gained very soon.

Addressing a University of Peshawar function organised here to mark World Polio Day, the governor said no disease in the world was without cure provided that it had properly been treated.

He said polio would soon be eradicated from Fata and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa if local residents cooperated with the government for the success of immunisation campaigns.

“Not only it is our moral and social responsibility to save lives but also Islam preaches it. We have to save our coming generations from polio,” he said.

Mr Kausar urged students to seek guidance from Islam on science, technology, health and other fields of life.

He said besides religious education, students of religious seminaries should be provided with education of science and technology, too, so that they could face the challenges of the modern world.

The governor said anti-polio efforts in Fata had delivered the goods due to strenuous efforts of the government, cooperation of tribal elders and guidance of people by religious leaders on immunisation.

He said polio cases in Fata had tangibly dropped during the current year and it would be completely eradicated from the region very soon.

Earlier, the governor was told in a briefing that the number of polio cases in Fata had decreased 45 in 2011 to 16 in 2012.

Officials of Fata Secretariat, University of Peshawar vice-chancellor, representatives of WHO and Unicef, and teachers and students of the university attended the function.

MEDIA WORKSHOP ON IMMUNISATION: Speakers at a media workshop on immunisation here on Wednesday pushed the government, nongovernmental organisations, media and people to join forces to eliminate polio from Fata and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The workshop was organised by Expanded Programme of Immunisation (EPI) in the collaboration of the provincial health department, Unicef and WHO at a local hotel in a connection with World Polio Day.

Speaking as the chief guest on the occasion, PPP Senator Robina Khalid, who is also the member of Taskforce against Polio, said it was a need of the hour to create public awareness of the crippling disease through media.

She said immunisation refusal cases had been growing in Fata and frontier regions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa due to taboos attached with anti-polio vaccination.

“Elimination of polio is a national cause. We should highlight polio-effected cases in society through media as it could be helpful for motivating parents toward getting their children vaccinated,” she said.

EPI, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa deputy director Dr Jan Baz Afridi told participants that his organisation in collaboration with the provincial health department was working for polio eradication at union councils and districts level in the province on emergency basis.

“We should expedite our immunisation efforts to get the status of a polio-free nation,” he said.

Mr Afridi appreciated religious leaders for supporting anti-polio vaccination and said the decrees (fatwas) issued by them increased public awareness of immunisation.

Provincial senior minister Rahim Dad Khan, who was also in attendance, said polio was a threat to children and that it was earning a bad name for the country.

“Developed counties may put restrictions on our financial assistance if we fail to control polio in the next five years,” he said.

In Timergara, National Research and Development Foundation (NRDF), a nongovernmental organisation, on Wednesday arranged a seminar and a walk to mark World Polio Day.

Teachers, students, health officials, and social and political activists attended the seminar at DCO office in Balambat.

District coordination officer, Lower Dir Mahmood Aslam Wazir said the countrymen could face traveling restrictions if polio was not eradicated until Dec 2014.

He urged people to vaccinate their children below five years of age for their protection against physical disability for life.

The DCO warned to take strict action against the officials, who were found negligent during anti-polio campaigns.

EPI coordinator Dr Jehanzeb, EDO (education) Bashir Ahmad, polio focal person Noor Wali Khan Wazir, NRDF core group member Mufti Fazal Manan Abid and field coordinator Abdullah Madani addressed the seminar.

Later, participants led by the DCO staged a walk on Balambat-Timergara road for public awareness of polio.

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