Pakistan has not become a polio virus free country so far despite the persistent and hectic efforts of the federal and provincial governments. There are instances of chronic and stubborn refusals on the part of parents in certain districts of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa to administer polio to their children below the age of five years. Earlier it was decided to initiate police cases against such parents. But now the decision has been reversed.
In the ongoing three day nation wide polio vaccination campaign, the polio teams have been instructed to refrain from insisting on vaccination to persuade the refusing parents and instead collect the data of refusals. This relaxation shall be given in the districts of Bannu, Lakki and tribal district of North Waziristan wherein 500000 children below the age of five years need vaccination against polio virus. This year in Bannu district alone eight new polio cases have been reported. In all 24 cases have been reported from three provinces which include 11 from Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, and three each from Punjab and Sindh. In these provinces over 10 million children below the age of five years will get polio vaccination in the three day drive which commenced from Monday. After every three months World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends a mandatory polio vaccination certificates for Pakistani citizens who intends to travel abroad. Mass awareness programme for polio vaccination with the involvement of Ulema and religious scholars is inevitable.