SHEIKHUPURA: A polio vaccination team was allegedly roughed up in Muridke on Wednesday.

Three vaccinators led by Khalid visited Salamatpura in Muridke to administer polio vaccine to children during the ongoing government campaign.

When they approached two of the houses in the locality, their owners Hammad Raza and Munawwar refused to get their children vaccinated, declaring it un-Islamic and unhygienic.

The team tried their best to convince both the men, but in vain. Instead, the men got infuriated and allegedly assaulted the vaccination team with iron rods and sticks.

As a result, the finger of team head Khalid got fractured and he was shifted to the THQ Hospital.

Muridke police claimed to have arrested both Raza and Munawwar.

BAHAWALPUR: On the instructions of the deputy commissioner (DC) on Tuesday night, all six assistant commissioners (ACs) of the district personally monitored the anti-polio campaign on Wednesday.

Polio Coordinator Dr Muhammad Zakir told Dawn that the ACs also visited schools and called on the parents who had refused to get their children vaccinated a day earlier.

Most of the assistant commissioners, he claimed, had managed to convince those parents.

He hoped that the situation would improve on Wednesday and the day’s progress report could be reviewed when the deputy commissioner presides over a meeting in this connection at night.

The anti-polio campaign in the district suffered a blow owing to the Peshawar incident that contributed to parents becoming apprehensive about the vaccine.

Dawn learnt that at least 160 parents had refused to get their children vaccinated on Tuesday.

Dr Zakir said when the Peshawar incident went viral on social media and TV channels on Tuesday, some parents started refusing the vaccine for their children. By Tuesday night, the total number of parents who had refused was reported to be 168.

Later that night, in an emergency meeting with health officials, DC Shozeb Saeed reviewed the situation arising out of the refusals and devised measures to intensify the drive on Wednesday.

Published in Dawn, April 25th, 2019