Assaults had been reported on Monday in Bannu, Wednesday in Buner and Thursday in Quetta. One polio vaccination employee and two policemen have been killed.
Public well being specialists say there may be concern that these assaults are exacerbating what’s already one of many world’s most intractable public well being threats.
Worldwide NGOs and Pakistani authorities have labored aggressively to dispel rumors and vaccinate youngsters in recent times. Greater than 20 million youngsters had been vaccinated in March of this yr, in line with Pakistani authorities.
However the omnipresence of sensible telephones and unfold of social media has made it troublesome to cease the unfold of misinformation in relation to polio eradication.
This week proved a telling instance.
On Monday, stories that some college students had a nasty response to the polio vaccine unfold like wildfire within the northern metropolis of Peshawar.
“Folks rushed to the loudspeakers of close by mosques barring folks to cease polio drops to their youngsters. In addition they instructed folks to take their youngsters to hospital instantly as some ‘toxic’ materials has been added to the vaccine,” deputy police commissioner Muhammad Ali Asghar advised CNN.
Following the stories, at the very least 25,000 college students sought medical help, provincial well being minister Hisham Inamullah mentioned.
Not one little one confirmed signs referring to the stories, had contracted a illness, or died after receiving the vaccine, mentioned Inamullah.
Spreading ‘faux information’
Yasmine Rashid, the general public well being minister for Pakistan’s Punjab Province, mentioned this week’s developments have proven the nation has to make a “concerted effort” to battle polio.
“Creating scares and spreading ‘faux information’ about polio drops could serve vested pursuits, but it surely’s dealing a significant blow (to our nation),” she mentioned.
Polio primarily impacts younger youngsters. Fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness within the neck and ache within the limbs are signs of the illness, which can also trigger everlasting paralysis.
The virus is definitely preventable by way of immunization, however there isn’t any remedy as soon as it’s contracted.