Mother-of-three, Farhina Touseef – the subject of Channel 4’s Unreported World – is risking her life by leading a team of medics as they travel door-to-door through dangerous Taliban strongholds offering the free vaccines to parents, according to a report on DailyMail.
Three years ago, Pakistan had almost completely eradicated polio, a devastating disease which paralyses its victims’ legs but is preventable with a simple injection.
Today, it’s on the rise again after the Taliban declared the vaccine to be a ‘Western conspiracy’ and a ‘bio-weapon’ that would actually make children sick, and waged violent attacks against those found to be supplying it.
In Pakistan, polio has been on the rise since the Taliban declared the vaccine to be a ‘bio-weapon’ that would actually make children sick.
Farhina, along with several other of the government-spearheaded teams, is desperate to stop the spread of the highly contagious disease, which the World Health Organisation has called an international public health emergency.
‘[My family] wanted me to give up work because it’s so risky,’ Farhina admits. ‘It’s life threatening. My husband said 100 per cent I should resign. But I couldn’t do it.’
There have been 322 cases of polio across the country in the last two years, the majority of them children under three.
Two of her colleagues were gunned down on the job in 2012 by the terror group for issuing the vaccine.
Farhina and the Channel 4 team travelled to Orangi Town, a particularly hazardous region, to meet a family devastated by polio.
Two young sisters, Maheen and Mariam, contracted the disease after their father, a conservative cleric, refused to give them polio drops against their mother’s wishes.
She hopes that with the help of leg braces, Mariam may be able to walk again within three years, but for Maheen, it’s too late.
Another cleric, Aisha Usmaini, teaches 400 women and preaches against the vaccine, incorrectly claiming that it contains ‘human foetal tissue’ and is part of the ‘war against Muslims’.
Great spirit. With people like this hopefully the future generations would be free from the disease. Regarding Taliban and their beliefs, obviously they have got nothing to do with Islam. In India, there's strong campaign against Bill Gates sponsored polio where it is claimed that over 8 Lac children have suffered fatal paralysis after polio vaccine. It is to be noted that polio vaccine is contraindicated in children with Immunocompromised conditions such as AIDS, or have allergy to components of the vaccines or allergies to antibiotics such as
Streptomycin, Neomycin and Polymyxin B.
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