Health and government organizations have been working for polio eradication for the last few decades but we have not been able to get rid of this disease. Recently Prime Minister Imran Khan has stressed the need to work for polio eradication.
PM Khan said that it was his government’s top priority to eliminate polio from the country. He was addressing a high level meeting regarding polio. The meeting was briefed by Babar Bin Atta, Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Polio Eradication (PMFP).
The high level meeting on the issue comes in the wake of International Monitoring Board’s report that has identified flaws in polio eradication strategy. In the last couple of years there has been a steady rise in the number of polio cases reported in the country. Bannu division is one area where the disease is most resilient.
Whatever the government and other health organization are planning to do to overcome the disease seem a little late. But as they say, it is never late to mend. A comprehensive strategy is needed to educate the population living in rural and backward areas.
Babar Bin Atta has taken the initiative to change the perception of the common man about polio. There are grave misunderstandings among the people that the vaccination is a pretense to destroy the future generations of Pakistan. Not only this, people also weave conspiracy theories that involve world powers that are bent on destroying Pakistani nation.
It’s a good sign that government is focusing on awareness campaigns to be run on social and mainstream media to dispel negative ideas about the vaccine. These measures might help but Lack of education is the real enemy that has allowed the disease to survive in the country.
Pakistan needs to invest heavily on education. It’s a pity that in the past 7 decades every government talked about working for the common man but none of them did anything for health and education.
The polio of the body cannot be cured unless we cure the polio in our minds. Intellectually our people are handicapped by superstition, ignorance, conservatism and social and cultural prejudices. Let’s hope that the government will work on war footings to cure the people body and mind.