The Power of Ignorance… 400,000 New Cases of TB in Backwards Pakistan

In 2007 Parents of some 24,000 children in Pakistan refused to give their children the polio vaccine because of a campaign by radical Muslim clergy.

A Pakistani health official in charge of a campaign to innoculate children against polio was killed in a bomb blast in February 2007, following rumours the vaccination was a US plot to sterilise them.(AFP/File/Ali Arif)

The Nation reported:

The District Health Department of Islamabad Capital Territory Administration on Thursday organized a ‘Stop-TB’ awareness walk at Rural Health Center, Bhara Kau, with a view to raising awareness in the masses about the disease and seeking early treatment and avoiding its transmission to the healthy people.

The walk was started at the Rural Health Center, Bhara Kau, Islamabad. People from all walks of life including TB experts, healthcare providers, lady health workers, children, students, notables of the area, private medical practitioners, traders community, farmers and representatives of NGOs took part in the awareness walk. DHO Islamabad Dr. M. Azhar, additional DHO Dr. Najeeb Durrani and officials of National TB Control Programme attended the walk with a commitment to stop the TB and make the country free from tuberculosis.

Addressing the participants, Director, National TB Control Programme, Dr. Ijaz Qadeer, said that each year 4,00,000 new cases of TB were reported in the country and over 5000 health facilities in the country were providing treatment facilities to the TB patients. He said that the role of lady health workers was of vital importance for creating awareness in the masses and providing counselling services for early treatment. He further said that the main focus of the TB control programme was its eradication and early detection of new cases of TB and to provide patients testing and treatment facilities for which community mobilization was also under way.

The polio vaccine rumors are broadcast from loud speakers at the local mosques in Pakistan.

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