More than 1000 Warrants Issued and 471 Arrested for Refusing Polio Vaccine in Pakistan

Peshawar: Pakistani police on Monday arrested over 450 parents for refusing to vaccinate their children during a fresh anti-polio campaign Peshawar to eradicate the crippling disease from the country which contributes nearly 80 per cent of polio cases reported globally.

Police arrested 471 parents who refused to administer polio vaccine to their children during the ongoing two-day anti-polio campaign, Deputy Commissioner Peshawar Riaz Khan Mehsud said.

The parents have been been shifted to Peshawar Central Jail, he said, adding that more than 1000 arrest warrants were issued for parents who had refused the vaccination. A crackdown for arrest of the remaining accused has been initiated, police said.

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Police arrested 471 parents who refused to administer polio vaccine to their children during the ongoing two-day anti-polio campaign, Deputy Commissioner Peshawar Riaz Khan Mehsud said.


The anti-polio drive is underway in the 92 union councils of Peshawar, which will cover over 700,000 children up to age of five. As many as 27,714,68 children under five years of age would be vaccinated in 21 districts in Khyber Pakthunkhwa while over 854,000 children would receive vaccination in Fata against nine fatal diseases including polio, TB, tetanus, hepatitis and measles, according to Khyber Pakthunkhwa health department.


The campaign would also continue in tribal areas where teams comprising Fata secretariat and volunteers would vaccinate children against fatal diseases. According to WHO, Pakistan is responsible for nearly 80 per cent of polio cases reported world wide.

The number of polio cases recorded in Pakistan last year were 306, the highest in 14 years. The country is one among three countries in the world where polio remains endemic. To prevent the possible spread of the polio virus from Pakistan to other countries, the WHO imposed strict travel restrictions on the country.

Whatever the reason, the fact that a large number of children are not immunized is having an impact.

Such vaccines are credited with wiping out polio in most parts of the world. But Pakistan is an exception, according to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, a public-private partnership that includes the World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The South Asian nation leads all others in new polio cases in recent years, and has nine of this year’s 10 reported cases.

In 2014, Pakistan had 327 cases. The next closest country was Nigeria, with 36 cases.

Authorities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province hope to ensure that 2.7 million children there get vaccine drops. They’ve learned about more than 13,000 cases in which parents have not done so since a provincial campaign began two weeks ago, Mehsud said.

Dr. Bilal Ahmad, a UNICEF team leader based in Pakistan, called authorities’ unprecedented move a last-ditch effort to clear polio from “cluster” zones where large numbers of families have refused to get their children vaccinated.

“First the workers (try to) convince them, then their supervisors, then senior members of the community,” Ahmad said. “(This government action) is the final step in eradicating this issue.”

Polio is a highly infectious viral disease that primarily affects young children, sometimes leading to paralysis and death. The virus is easily preventable through immunization, but there’s no cure once it is contracted.


It went from being a health issue to a security issue after U.S. intelligence officials used a vaccination program to help in their hunt for Osama bin Laden in 2011. Under cover of the program, the CIA sought to collect DNA samples from relatives of the al Qaeda leader to verify his presence in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

Osama bin Laden


Those administering the vaccines have become targets, with the National Emergency Operations Center reporting that more than 70 medical workers have been killed in attacks since December 2012.

And in June 2012, Pakistani Taliban commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur announced that polio vaccines would be banned in another Pakistani province — North Waziristan — because of drone strikes there. Bahadur called the strikes “worse than polio.”

Militant groups often attack polio teams as they see vaccination campaigns a cover for espionage. There are also long running rumours about polio drops causing infertility. Pakistan is making efforts despite odds to eradicate polio and vaccination campaigns are frequently launched to reach the targeted population.

Official: Parents who sign affidavit vowing to vaccinate their children will be released.

Source: IBN and CNN

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PROPHECY:

“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” 2 Timothy 3:13 (KJV).

“And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.” Luke 17:26 (KJV)

“And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth” -Genesis 6:13 (KJV).

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