Pakistan is one of the few countries where the polio epidemic still exists. This is because many parents say not to vaccination.
Ghulam Ishaq is a resident of Karachi. He owns a small shop and makes ends meet and one of his life’s biggest regrets is about a decision he made when his child was young
He, surely, like all other parents wants the best for his children. But he fell prey to the misconceptions about the polio vaccination. He now regrets his decision because his beautiful child can no longer walk. One of her legs is affected by polio and the other was broken when a car hit her.
Ghulam now blames himself for not getting his child vaccinated. He realizes the importance of vaccination. They protect us from diseases and ensure a healthy future for our children.
Photo @williamodaniels for @natgeo. PAKISTAN, Karachi Ghulam Ishaq, a Karachi shopkeeper, didn’t trust the polio vaccine. Now he blames himself for the double misery of his four-year-old daughter, Rafia: one leg withered by polio, the other broken by a car she couldn’t dodge. Karachi, Pakistan is one the last places on earth that hasn’t eliminated polio in addition to Afghanistan and Nigeria. In the last stage of polio eradication, Pakistan has made tremendous progress towards poliovirus transmission interruption and eradication but it still faces some resistance among the more traditionalist communities such as the Pashtuns, as some believe vaccination is a plot from the West against muslims. This picture was the opening of the story Why Vaccines Matter, published in the November issue of the magazine.
And it is not his fault because many educated people also fall prey to these misconceptions. There are a number of reasons why parents tend to believe these misconceptions:
- Private doctors encourage them to not trust government vaccines
- It is generally believed that the vaccine will make their kids infertile
Data shows that 1 in 10 parents in Pakistan easily fall prey to the rumors about polio vaccination
According to a report issued by the polio program in March 2016, parents of 46,967 children refused to vaccinate their children across the country.
This is the reason why a special task force was created by the government as part of the Polio Eradication Program.
Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq is the Prime Minister’s focal person for the polio eradication program. She introduced a special task force, which would go from home to home convincing people, creating awareness, and letting them know the consequences of acting otherwise. Those who failed to comply were arrested if they did not have a valid justification for choosing to not vaccinate their child.
Our children deserve a bright future. Let’s give it to them
The situation is surely getting better. Only two cases of polio were reported in 2017. We need to help spread the right information so that we can get each child vaccinated. The responsibility lies with all of us to help each other out in times like these. No parent wants to see their child grow up like this. Let us all pledge to spread this message and ensure happy and healthy children!
It’s about time we started seeing things for what they really are.It’s about time we started eradicating Polio and the falseperceptions around it.#EndPolio
Posted by Aseefa Bhutto Zardari on Samstag, 21. Oktober 2017
Cover image via: @williamodaniels / @natgeo / Instagram