Islamabad ‘s Tarlai area lies on the famous express way of islamabad. this is unfortunately was the Place whre a polio case was reported in 2008. Since then, it is one of the main highlight of the Polio EID and SNID campaigns of the WHO and the ICT administration. JAICA Donor Teams routinely visit this area during the Polio Campaigns. This area has a high concentration of the Afghan Nomad Families and the migrants from Swat and Northern areas.
Interestingly, when I visited a Nomad family s straw house to monitor the campaign..i young girl came to me with a baby of one day age..she said to me ; My daughter was born yesterday and she couldn’t be administrated Polio Drops so kindly administer the same. In the same Zone of Tarlai, I was asked to go save a team of two lady health workers who were pelted with stones because they used the street to cross and go to their respective areas while criminally asking the residents of the street to administer the Polio drops to their Kids. Upon arrival to that relatively educated community i was welcomed by houses with closed doors whose women went to the roofs and accused us of being giving them infertility medicine. some lied to avoid that they have already administrated the Polio drops.
Eventually, they were coaxed into being given the drops on the promise that they will be given free medicine in next campaign for minor ills. Another reason given is the advice from family doctor to avoid the polio drops. A very big number of Privately owned schools refuse the polio drop administration on regular basis during campaigns.
I have come to the conclusion that it is not the illiterate people but the literate hallucinated communities and professionals that are the biggest hurdle in this real war that we are wagging on the menace of Polio. Incidents of violence are not uncommon. They can only be curbed by inculcating severe punishments under law to the refusals and the open hearted support to campaigner. All children not having immunization cards should be barred from schools and any school not providing monthly Polio campaign should face licence cancellation. Media creating confusion about polio vaccine should be fined and stopped from airing as a penalty for some time. difficult times deem difficult measures.We can not afford to lose this war..our future is at stake.