Levies, Khasadars boycott polio drives in Bajaur district

BAJAUR: The Levies and Khasadars in Bajaur have refused to provide security to the three-day anti-polio immunization campaign begin here in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Monday due to which the campaign was postponed in Bajaur.

The campaign could not be held in all seven TehsilS of the tribal district including Khaar as the levies and Khasadar forces boycotted it to press the government for their demands which include the right of policing and equally salaries and privileges as provided to the police. They also demand the government to maintain the historical stature of both the forces.

The paramilitary forces have earlier announced that if their demands were not accepted, they will boycott such an important anti-polio campaign in the district from where the last case of 2018 was reported. District health officer, Dr Wazir Khan Safi told media that due to lack of security personnel the campaign couldn’t begin in all seven tehsils of Bajaur.

Anti-Polio campaign begins in KP 

PESHAWAR: A three-day anti-polio was launched in 25 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa including tribal districts and Afghan refugee camps to administer polio drops to over 5.5 million children- around 4.7 million in settled districts and 0.8 million in Tribal Districts under the age of five, here on Monday.

The campaign will be conducted in 18 settled and seven tribal districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa including Peshawar, Charsadda, Mardan, Swabi, Swat, Malakand, Battagram, Chitral, Kohat, Karak, Hangu, Bannu, Dir Upper, Dir Lower, Lakki Marwat, Tank, Dera Ismail Khan, Bajaur, Mohmand, Khyber, Orakzai, Kurram, North Waziristan and South Waziristan.

The health department says that all age vaccination will be started at Torkham border for all the passengers and visitors crossing the international border in view of the virus circulation in the last two endemic countries of the world. Strict security measures have been taken to provide a conducive environment to the teams to carry out the quality campaign as low transmission season was the best opportunity to weaken and hit the virus and stop wild poliovirus transmission in the region.

More than 20,000 security personnel in the settled districts will be deployed with the teams to ensure their security during the March campaign and thanked Home Dept, Army, Police and other law enforcing agencies for their support in polio campaigns.  Parents have been appealed to not pay heed to propaganda and misconceptions and vaccinate their children against polio saying that polio vaccine was the safest vaccine used by all Muslim countries.

It is pertinent to mention here that the country has recorded six polio cases in 2019 so far one each from Bannu, Hangu, Bajaur, District Khyber, Karachi and Lahore so far.

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