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The proposed Act will make it compulsory for parents to get their children, below the age five, vaccinated for polio. - AFP/File
The proposed Act will make it compulsory for parents to get their children, below the age five, vaccinated for polio. - AFP/File

QUETTA: The Balochistan government has decided to table a vaccination bill in the provincial assembly to make it compulsory for parents to get their children, below the age five, vaccinated for polio — refusal to which would lead to punishment and arrest by authorities.

"We are preparing a draft for the provincial government to bring Polio Vaccination Act in the Assembly," Balochistan Health Secretary Noor-ul-Haq Baloch told Dawn.com.

Balochistan Health Department has already declared 45 union councils as high risk areas. Meanwhile, presence of polio virus has already been confirmed in environmental samples collected from Quetta and Killa Abdullah districts.

"Until and unless refusal is ended, polio virus cannot be eradicated," Baloch said.

Also read: Polio vaccination: A deadly battle in Pakistan

The health department has also decided to recruit local lady health workers in the 45 high risk Union Councils to eradicate the crippling virus. The high-risk UCs are located in Quetta, Killa Abdullah and Pishin districts.

The provincial health secretary said that one refusal affects children in 200 metres vicinity and it endangers the lives of other children. "Refusal is tantamount to crime," Baloch stated.

Up till now, three polio cases have been reported from Balochistan's Quetta, Killa Abdullah and Loralai districts. As far as the official statistics are concerned, 90 per cent parents administer polio drops to their children, however, 10 per cent refused to do so.

Know more: New strategy unlikely to curtail refusal against anti-polio vaccine

The provincial government has also approached the newly elected local body members in the 45 high risk UCs, urging them to join hands for the eradication of polio virus. "The councilors will hold monthly meetings with health officials in this regard," Baloch said.

Balochistan government has already declared polio emergency to eradicate the crippling virus. During 2011, a total of 73 polio cases were reported from Balochistan. However, the number was decreased following efforts by provincial health department, UNICEF and WHO.


Comments (11) Closed



Philosopher (from Japan) Jun 13, 2015 10:01pm

Why don't you attached it with birth certificate issuance or mandatory to show vaccination certificate while making form-B?

Harmony-1 Jun 13, 2015 10:02pm

Excellent! Should be the law all over the country.

Merchant Jun 13, 2015 11:28pm

Excellent piece of legislation but should be actively enforced. The Namaloom Killers of the polio workers should be caught and given exemplary punishments and I would suggest hanging in public for destroying a generation of children.

Zak Jun 13, 2015 11:50pm

Legislation will not stop polio cases, but getting the sardars on board. One word from them and no one will refuse. That's what AC, DC and commissioners used to do in the past.

CYRUS Jun 13, 2015 11:59pm

In Africa many villagers were telling each other than the ebola virus was the White man's plot to exterminate Africa's. Let's hope people in Pakistani will no longer be that backward about polio prevention. There are some people who will say anything and spread rumors to get attention.

brmurr Jun 14, 2015 04:03am

Gonna be a bit harder to vaccinate all the children without the NGOs.

Ghalib Jun 14, 2015 08:14am

Good it should be done by other provinces also

And punishment should be significant to make an impact

Prashant Jun 14, 2015 10:27am

Good move.

Haider Rehman Real Jun 14, 2015 12:17pm

Following Sehat ka Ittehad! A very positive step.

Santram Jun 14, 2015 02:54pm

There are only 3 countries on this earth who are still having polio.

Imran Jun 14, 2015 04:47pm

Instead of introducing such laws, provincial government should take on board militants through tribal leaders and feudals. The menace of polio virus could be eradicated, once and for all, once militant groups are convinced that: 1. the vaccination programme is not to sterilize women; 2. the campaign is not a source of prying upon them; and 3. that the sole objective of the drive is to eradicate polio virus.

Hopefully, results would be positive.