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August 18, 2019

Strange move of business community: Bannu traders boycott polio campaign against heavy taxes


August 18, 2019

PESHAWAR: In a strange move Bannu trader’s community has put their kids’ lives at risk by refusing to administer polio drops against the enforcement of heavy government taxes.

District Bannu was declared highly sensitive after reporting of 30 polio cases out of 53 reported from all over the country. Government has already announced polio vaccination campaign to be started from August, 26.

Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has directed the commissioner Bannu to resolve the matter forthwith. Mahmood Khan told this scribe that “The commissioner and local authorities are in touch with the traders and hopefully issue will be resolved as early as possible. Provincial government is committed and all out efforts will be made to eradicate the polio virus from KP” the Chief Minister Mahmood Khan said.

Markazi Anjuman Tajran Bannu President Saleem Rehman, while confirming the decision of boycotting the anti-polio vaccination campaign, said our kids are already dying due to economic massacre and heavy taxes imposed by government. “It was unanimously decided in a meeting held on Friday by all groups that we will not cooperate and vaccinate our kids during the upcoming campaign of polio announced by the government,” he said.

Saleem Rehman said trader’s community is badly suffered by inflation and enforcement of heavy taxes. “Businesses are on down fall and we can’t afford our families,” he went on to add.

Polio is infectious disease caused by poliovirus mainly affecting children under the age of five. It attacks the nervous system and paralysis the kids or even causes death as well.

When Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Polio Babar bin Atta was contacted by this scribe he terms it very unfortunate and odd decision of traders to boycott the campaign; ultimately their kids will suffer from this disease in future. He said the provincial government and local authorities are in touch with them and will make insure that each and every kid must be vaccinated polio drops to eradicate the virus from most affected district of Bannu.

He further said that federal and provincial governments are fully committed to eradicate the polio. “I have already requested KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan to personally supervise the vaccination campaign in Bannu division to check the increasing numbers of polio cases,” he said. Adding that the only way to eradicate the virus of this disease is to administer polio drops to every child. “We want to eradicate the virus but unfortunately this cannot be done if people refuse to vaccinate their children. While there is no cure for polio, vaccination is the most effective way to protect children from this crippling disease,” the focal person on polio said. He said each time a child under the age of five is vaccinated, their protection against the virus is increased. He further said, Bannu has already been declared sensitive district because 30 cases out of 53 were reported from this district and 21 from Bannu city. Regarding rapid increase of polio cases in Bannu, he said, “people had refused inactivated polio vaccine but I am sure children had not been administered the oral polio vaccine as well.” He said that vaccination cannot be done forcibly rather it has to be done with the help of parents. It is pertinent that Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria are three countries where polio cases are being reported. In 2014, the WHO made it mandatory for all passengers travelling from Pakistan to carry a polio vaccination certificate.

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