Lady health workers boycott anti-polio campaign in Quetta

Published December 1, 2014
Lady health workers protested outside the Quetta Press Club and denounced the govt's failure to provide security to polio workers. -Reuters/File
Lady health workers protested outside the Quetta Press Club and denounced the govt's failure to provide security to polio workers. -Reuters/File

QUETTA: Due to threats and intimidation, lady health workers (LHWs) have announced on Monday evening a boycott of the anti-polio campaign in Quetta.

The LHWs announced the boycott after staging a protest demonstration outside Quetta Press Club.

They chanted slogans against the provincial government and law enforcement agencies for their failure to provide security to polio workers.

The Balochistan health ministry has divided Quetta into 18 zones with regard to the anti-polio campaign.

For this purpose, 58 teams have been formed to administer polio drops to children below the age of five years, Health Minister Rehmat Baloch told Dawn.com

'We want protection', 'arrest the murderers of our colleagues', were some of the slogans chanted during the demonstration.

"Unknown men have warned us against taking part in the polio campaign," Fauzia Malik, a LHW who was protesting outside the press club told Dawn.com

The incensed polio workers were critical of the government and health ministry for ignoring their security concerns.

"Set aside arresting the murderers, no official even came to our residence to offer prayers for my slain brother," lamented Humera Javed whose brother was killed along with three female workers in Quetta a few days back.

Read also: Polio workers boycott campaign in Balochistan as 4 workers gunned down

The Balochistan government had decided to launch an anti-polio campaign in Sariab Zone area of Quetta from Tuesday.

A total of 15 polio cases have been reported during the current year in Balochistan.

The province was polio free for more than two years. However, the first polio case was reported in July this year from Killa Abdullah district of Balochistan.

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