PESHAWAR, Dec 21: Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal MPA Mufti Kifayatullah on Friday announced to table a bill in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly to declare production of anti-polio vaccination certificate mandatory for admission of children to schools in the province.
Speaking on a point of order in the House, cleric-turned-politician from Mansehra Mufti Kifayatullah said he would table private member’s bill in the House during the ongoing session for making polio vaccination mandatory for admission to schools.
He said the bill stated that parents should be bound to produce anti-polio vaccination certificate while seeking admission for their children to government and private schools in the province.
The lawmaker criticised the government over the killing of vaccinators and failure to arrest the culpable people and declared it the government’s inefficiency.
He urged the government to provide health workers carrying out anti-polio vaccination campaign with proper security.
Mr Kifayatullah proposed that the government stop sending vaccinators from door to door and make arrangements for vaccination of children against polio in mosques.
During the session, lawmakers from both the treasury and opposition benches condemned the killing of polio vaccinators in the province.
Ironically, health minister Zahir Ali Shah and Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti remained absent from the session throughout the discussion on the matter.
On a point of order, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MPA Javid Abbasi warned that health of around 800,000 children would be affected if anti-polio drops were not administered to them. He said the government should explain to the people its strategy for running vaccination drive.
Awami National Party member Saqibullah Khan Chamkani said UN should stop the US from using health related campaigns for espionage in the province.
He also said UN and international community should help Pakistan at this critical moment instead of asking government to suspend immunisation campaign. He said the involvement of the world’s big powers in the immunisation campaign and vested interests had put lives of Pakistani children at risk.
MPA Qalandar Lodhi proposed that anti-polio vaccination drives be conducted under the supervision of lawmakers. He opposed suspension of vaccination drive.
Lawmakers Inayatullah Jadoon and Nighat Yasmeen Orakzai demanded provision of full security to health workers.
Provincial elementary and secondary education minister Sardar Hussain Babak said militants had changed their modus operandi.
“Initially, schools and CD shops were attacked and now militants have begun targeting workers administering anti-polio drops to children,” he said.
He said anti-polio drops were administered to children across the country but militants had launched attacks against vaccinators in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa only. He said the government would provide full security to vaccinators and other health workers.
Later, the House passed ‘The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Standard Weights and Measures Enforcement (Amendment) Bill, 2012’.
There followed adjournment of the session by Speaker Kiramatullah Khan Chagharmatti until 3pm on Monday.