Prompt response by the armed militia of volunteer workers saved a polio worker from the custody of kidnappers in Lakki Marwat on Sunday.
According to police reports, a polio worker was reportedly kidnapped this morning while he was on duty. After the worker went missing, Chagha Party, a local militia voluntarily working for peace and protection of the area, was informed about the incident. Taking prompt action for the rescue, dozens of armed volunteers of Chagha Party chased the kidnappers and reportedly engaged in gunfire too.
During the exchange of fire between Chagha Party members and the kidnappers, the polio worker was lucky enough to get a chance to escape from the scene; and he took it. Later on, the kidnappers also managed to escape from the crime scene and left behind a motorcycle.
Unfortunately, the local Police could not make it to the scene before the kidnappers escaped.
Polio vaccination campaign has resumed in Lakki Marwat and several other parts of the country after a gap of five months due to the Coronavirus lockdown.
Last year, Lakki Marwat emerged as a hotspot for polio as a total of 140 polio cases were reported in Pakistan, including 97 cases in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with 32 cases from Lakki Marwat alone. Lakki Marwat was followed by the nearby Bannu city, where a total of 26 cases were reported.
According to recent reports, Lakki Marwat has managed to be the top city in regards to polio case reports as the highest number of polio cases have been reported from here again this year.
When asked about the reason behind the alarming rise in polio cases in the area, two main reasons are attributed: the first one being the non-cooperation of parents and the other is a threat to polio workers from militants. Those who oppose vaccination consider it a ‘yahoodi saazish’ or a scheme of the West. The refusing parents believe that polio vaccination damages fertility and potency of their kids. And just when we thought it couldn’t get any bizarre, they even added that they believe more people are not having children after marriage and more girls are born than boys because of polio vaccination.
To cope up with that, a senior vaccination official wishing anonymity, told PashtoScoop Media that about 500 Ulema have been hired for making vaccination campaigns successful in Lakki Marwat. Since the people of rural areas tend to believe their Ulemas more than anyone, getting them to educate the refusing parents about the essence of polio vaccination.
According to a media report, several monthly campaigns were launched in Lakki Marwat previously to vaccinate 194,000 children below the age of five years before the Corona pandemic started. During each campaign, about 20,000 parents refused vaccination to their children for the aforementioned reasons.
Officials said the local Ulema and district administration officials are proving to be of great help in the recent campaigns. They hold sessions with the refusing parents and manage to agree about 14,000 parents to administer polio vaccination to children. But despite all those efforts, somewhat around 6,000 parents still won’t agree through any mean and they are spoiling the whole effort to achieve the target of a polio-free region.
What do you think about the whole Polio vaccination thing? Do you think it’s real or is it another ‘yahoodi saazish’? Let us know in the comments.