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Devising inclusive strategy to control occurrence of polio vital

AFP

KARACHI: Travelling restrictions on Pakistan over reporting of large number of polio cases are shameful. Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) urged government to devise comprehensive strategy to control prevalence of disease to avoid more restrictions in future.Secretary General PMA Central Dr Mirza Ali Azhar addressing a press conference on polio vaccination crises said PMA has been raising voice about polio situation in the country since long but in vain.He said World Health Organisation (WHO) has put Pakistan on a danger list due to the number of polio cases found in the country along with Syria and Cameron in 2014. He said it was a shameful happening for the 7th nuclear power of the world.This is a situation not unsurprising for many Pakistanis especially the healthcare analysts. He informed a total 59 cases reported in Pakistan in 2014 out of which 46 cases were reported from Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA) North Waziristan (400, South Waziristan (4), Khyber Agency (1) and FR Bannu 1, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 9 cases (Peshawar 4, Bannu 5), Karachi 4 cases (Gadap 2, Orangi Town 1, Baldia 1) so far. He said PMA believed there was no dearth of money, shortage of vaccines or crisis of manpower. The only thing, which we lack is a political will to eradicate polio from the country and an honest system in place to do the job, he added. He said the moment there was a complete chaos and confusion on polio clearance certificate issue as people were running to get vaccinated and obtain certificate.Sindh Government is mulling to install check posts to scrutinise the people coming from upcountry this step would further open gate of corruption.Dr SM Qaisar Sajjad said the government could not pay heed on PMA appeals over polio crises in Pakistan in past and now people was being punished for the mistakes of rulers.He said strict legislation was needed against those elements who attack and kill polio workers.Dr Qazi M Wasiq urged the religious scholars to play their role to remove myths about polio vaccination in country to avoid prevalence of disease. He appealed the ulema to include polio vaccination message in their Friday sermons.The speakers demanded of the government to make a foolproof policy to eradicate polio from country immediately. They asked for mass mobilisation through the media, involving all political parties, civil society, religious scholars, imam masjid, schoolteachers and human right activists to create awareness.They asked for incentives to health workers and compensation for all those workers who were either killed or injured.They said since the areas well defined from where polio cases were being reported, so these areas should be specifically targeted for polio vaccination.The demanded to authorise genuine institutions to administer polio vaccines to travellers and issue them certificates.They asked and authorise all branches of PMA across the country to administer polio vaccine and issue certificates to doctors and their families. 

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