KP govt to block CNICs of parents refusing polio drops to children

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has decided to block the computerised national identity cards (CNICs) of the parents who refused to administer polio vaccination drops to their children.

KP Information Minister Shaukat Yousafzai said while talking to media person on Thursday that refusal by parents to administer polio vaccination drops to their children tantamount to terrorism. He said the provincial government will block the CNICs of those who did not cooperate with the vaccination teams and will take more steps to ensure provision of vaccination to each and every child to save them from the crippling disease.

Mr Yousafzai said about 3,000 parents have been identified in 14 districts of KP who are not allowing the polio teams to administer polio vaccine to their children. He said the refusal by parents in such a large number is an alarming sign. He said the provincial government had to take this step to ensure provision of polio vaccine to every child.

The minister said the blocked CNICs may be re-activated latter after attestation by the concerned deputy commissioner.

Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria are the only three countries in the world where polio is categorised is endemic viral infection. Vaccination efforts in these countries are often hampered due to refusal of parents or threats from militants.

Last month, a polio case surfaced in union council Mirakhel of Bannu district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which happened due to his father’s refusal to administer him vaccine. The child’s father had also refused to follow the basic immunisation course for his child. The refusal of the child’s father to give him polio vaccination exposed him to life-long disability.

Earlier, seven officials of the anti-immunisation campaign in Bajaur were removed from their posts over charges of negligence which resulted into emergence of three cases in the tribal district. Investigations proved that polio cases emerged in Bajaur due to refusal of several parents to administer polio drops to their children.

According to the National Emergency Operations Centre, the presence of the poliovirus was confirmed in sewage samples collected from 10 cities in January. These cities include Peshawar, Dera Ismail Khan, South Waziristan, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Lahore, Karachi, Sukkur, Killa Abdullah and Quetta.