Hats off to our polio heroes... By Mukhtar
05 March, 2013
The recent string of coordinated attacks against and killings of polio workers in Pakistan and Nigeria is painful beyond measure. All these heroes are in my thoughts and prayers. Polio can strike anyone but it affects mainly children under five years of age. It is very shameful that Pakistan stands in line with Afghanistan and Nigeria where polio is endemic despite the availability of foreign aid to control the highly infectious virus since 1995.
Most recently, a polio case in Egypt was traced to having originated in Pakistan. Had there been any truth in the stigmas, i.e. infertility and hepatitis attached to the anti-polio vaccines, then today our champion Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran would have cases of polio victims due to a ban on such vaccination since long before our reign of terror.
As the world famous cricketer Mr Shahid Afridi has joined the fight against polio, we should pin all our hopes on him. His popularity among people and his personal effort should be like an oasis of hope in these moments of despair. I hope he will do his best to take the message to every doorstep of Pakistan with no further delay. The safety of our heroic workers is as obligatory as every polio campaign itself.
DR MUKHTAR ALI