How polio persists, even giving the drops…?
By Basheer Ahmed Ijbani
In the nexus of ‘Polio invincible in Pakistan’ Bolan Voice, January 2015, edition. From the beginning of New Year 2015, the polio cases also initiated reporting in the country of Pakistan. In spite of campaigning about polio eradication, no diminution in cases has been observed. In the nexus, authorities of Health Department; on the provincial and national levels claim for eradication of Polio virus to a great extent but on ground these statements do not seem true. The vaccines used by the polio teams also do not seem effective because in Quetta a case is reported when that child was given drops approximately six times. And this case left reasons of skeptical about ineffectiveness of vaccines used by health authorities in polio eradication campaigns.
The United Nation through its commissions, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United National Children Fund (UNICEF) surveyed in Pakistan and in joint compiled report expressed concerns over the ‘weak vaccine management system’ and urged the government to adopt standard protocols to make the vaccination program effective and put brake on childhood ailments.
The report compiled by UN deportments invigorates the notions about ineffectiveness of vaccine and also supports those elements who oppose the polio drops to children and they have standpoint, this vaccine has side-effects or causing further spread of polio virus.
In Balochistan, semi-educated people and Baloch area dwellers constantly have been giving drops to their children, but they were criticized by religious elements for giving drops. The UN report, especially the detection of polio cases even after giving drops to children further may cause refusal of the dropping against polio to children or the refusing people number probable increase. The mentioned cases also invigorate the viewpoint that polio is invincible in Pakistan.
The lack of seriousness in government officials also demotivate about eradication of polio or getting country polio-free:
The government officials are incapable to show the allocated budget regarding the polio campaigns; this act indicates mismanagement or slackened firm by them in dealing the mission. When concern official about polio were asked, how many times a child is to be given drops for immunization the polio disease, so they couldn’t provide information, but they have stance that they are struggling on their level best for the polio free country.
The lack information and interest are getting dismayed to people in combat with Polio and also dimming the sacrifices of lives by volunteers.
The polio cases reported in previous and current year details are as:
25 in 2014, and 3 in 2015, total 306 cases in Pakistan in year of 2014, and till date 54% of the polio cases are in Pakistan out of world.
In Balochistan, in 2015 are from Killa-AbdUllah 84% of the cases were under 2 years of age, 45% of the polio case had received any dose.
The governmental official informed about the output of spending a sizeable budget:
More than 90% of the population remains vaccinated, and apart from a few districts in Balochistan [Like High Risk Districts Quetta, Pishin, Killa AbdUllah, Zhob] rest remains free of Polio. There are occasional cases in non-high risk districts as Loralai, this year.
Society is not cooperative so how state can be polio free:
Government official informed, at large communities are supportive of the program, however due to repeated rounds or some misconceptions individuals oppose the program. All of the polio teams are locals and community should accept them as their part as they are working to prevent the children in their areas from life time disability. It is our culture to welcome our guests and that is how the community should see the teams.
Polio vaccines are ineffective because cases emerging after drops administered:
Government official said, Polio vaccines are very effective, if you look at the history back in 1980’s more than 1000 children were paralyzed every day due to polio as a result of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, one of the largest public health efforts in history, the number of children paralyzed by this devastating disease every year has fallen from over 350000 in 1988 to as few as 359 in 2014, using the same oral polio vaccines.
There are only 3 countries in the world where polio remains endemic; Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. (No case has been reported from Nigeria this year and only one case has been reported from Afghanistan)
About ineffectiveness of polio vaccines the focal-person in Baloc-histan said:
The cases that appear even if they have received doses are due to the fact that children have not received complete number of doses. Last year 45% of cases in Balochistan had received no dose and rest had received less than 7 doses, which is not enough to build immunity. And immunity in children is different in different areas, depending on their nutrition status, hygiene and sanitation conditions and overall health. For children in Balochistan, they have to be immunized during every campaign until they are 5 years of age.How many polio workers have so far been killed in Balochistan?
Since 2012, there have been 6 confirmed killings of vaccinators. All of these vaccinators were locals of Balochistan, they were working for this noble cause receiving minimal wages as Rs. 250, 3 males and 3 women have lost their lives so far.
It was analyzed that polio in current situation is invincible in Pakistan and this logic is supported by realties exist in this country. Society is not cooperative in campaigns of eradication, religious elements oppose dropping and consider this infidels’ conspiracy, the vaccines is ineffective that after giving drops the virus persist in children, the United Nation’s subordinate organizations; the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nation Children Fund (UNCIEF) through its report declared Pakistani vaccines and staff performance very poor, in the remote areas of Balochistan and in other provinces volunteers have no access, corruption and incompetence are hampering in the way to get polio Free State.
In the perspective of above mentioned obstacles, it is believed that polio is invincible in the country of Pakistan but the religious elements get involved in campaigns or they get included in volunteer’s teams, then to some extent people will be consented to give drops to their children and probable the assaulting incidents on polio workers also reduce.
Recently, the WHO official in Pakistan Mr Michal stated in media that forced giving drops to children are not supported by them. He reasoned, this act has setbacks and people in this way will react.
The WHO official correctly assessed the psychology of here’s people, but on the other side they are going to impose travel sanctions on Pakistanis. And in Pakistani society, a section is not developed mentally that consider all positive offers by international world, especially the Europeans against their religion. Resultantly, they refuse to give drops for immunization against the Polio which leaves a large number of children without dose in country. The International world should conceive the situation and review on decision of travel banning on this country’s citizens. But in prevailing situation getting the Pakistan polio-free is not seem viable.
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