Sir: The Federally Administered Tribal Areas is in the public eye for two reasons: polio virus and being a Taliban bastion. The state is trying to eliminate both without being aware of the ground realities or disregarding them deliberately.
Besides the Taliban ban on vaccinating children, there are other reasons which hamper the polio campaign. I have friends and relatives employed in the Expanded Programme on Immunisation who are ignorant about the duties they are supposed to perform let alone discharge them properly. They possess no technical training and most are not even educated. Whenever there is a training workshop they hire proxies to represent them. The government provided them solar refrigerators to store polio vaccines but these are being used in their houses. In these circumstances, how then can such workers eradicate a menace like polio?
The monthly polio campaign must be conducted under army supervision and female staff so they can convey the message to all and also gain access to those mothers who want to get their children vaccinated.
Khair Ullah Bettani