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October 1, 2020

Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman Foundation campaign: ‘Qatray pilao, polio ko harao’ spreading awareness about polio dangers

National

October 1, 2020

KARACHI: A campaign of Geo News and the Jang Group under the Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman Foundation (MKRF), ‘Qatray pilao, polio ko harao’ [administer vaccine, defeat polio], which kicked off on September 18, will continue until October 18.

Under the shadows of the coronavirus dangers, the campaign against polio was once again initiated by Geo News and the Jang Group. This is the third part of a series of awareness campaigns of the MKRF that seeks to unite the country in the belief that defeating polio and completely eliminating it from Pakistan is a national duty of every citizen. During the campaign, 40 million children under the age of five will be administered anti-poliovirus drops.

As Geo News and the MKRF are resolute for eradicating polio from Pakistan, they are spreading messages on how to save the children of Pakistan from being handicapped and how the public at large can remain healthy. Several news packages are being aired to inform the people about the dangers of the virus and the need to administer the polio vaccine to the children under five.

In this regard, the morning show of Geo News, Geo Pakistan, invited the parliamentary health secretary, Nousheen Hamid, to make the people aware of what measures the government has been taking to curb poliovirus in Pakistan. She shared that in 2019, 170 cases of polio were reported in the country and the peak month was December, in which 17 polio cases had emerged. Back then, she said, four nationwide campaigns were launched on the government level to eradicate the virus and they yielded good results but unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, those campaigns had to be stopped, due to which new cases of polio started to emerge once again.

Through the ‘Pakistan versus polio’ campaign, the people are being informed that a nation like Pakistan cannot be defeated by polio as even with lack of resources, the country defeated terrorism. Pakistan also won in the past the world cups of hockey, cricket, snooker and squash, and with the same spirit, it was ready to defeat polio. Pakistani parents, through the MKRF’s campaign, are being told that by administrating polio drops to their children, they can save them from getting handicapped.

It is pertinent to mention here that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the anti-polio campaign was deferred for a few months. The reason to initiate this campaign again is to save the children of Pakistan from the crippling disease. After the virus being eliminated from Africa, only Afghanistan and Pakistan are the two countries where the virus is still present.

Unfortunately, Pakistan tops the list of polio-affected countries in the world, which is why we need immediate measures to eliminate polio.

Pakistan is classified by the International Health Regulations (IHR) as a state infected with wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) and circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) with the potential risk of international spread. It is therefore subject to temporary recommendations as of June 2020. It is very important to teach parents that not only the virus can cause disabilities in their children, it can also take their lives. Since the virus, once inflicted, has no treatment, the only remedy is vaccine. We must administer our children polio drops to ensure a healthy Pakistan.