Coordinator Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Capt (R) Kamran Afridi has urged media to support government in addressing hardcore polio refusals and create community demand for the vaccination as the province is struggling with the rising polio cases. “Baseless propag anda’s against polio vaccine by vested elements have badly affected the programme and put the health of our children at stake”.He was addressing a press conference here Friday. Also present were team leads N Stops, WHO, UNICEF and BMGF.
Kamran Afridi appreciated the positive and responsible reporting of media on polio and requested it to continue its constructive role till the virus was wiped out of the region and children were protected from permanent disabilities.
He said that polio cases have decreased over the last few years in the province from 238 in 2014 to 41 in 2019; however, he hastened on to add that a number of factors including weak essential immunization, parental refusal, fake finger marking were responsible for the spike in polio cases in the province.
To counter the anti-polio propaganda and other programmatic challenges, provincial EOC initiated revamped communication and perception management strategy that included advocacy sessions with different stakeholders at provincial and district levels.