SARGODHA: A polio team was attacked and locked in a room on Thursday by a family who refused to have polio drops administered to their children in Sargodha.
According to the police, “A team of polio workers was administering polio drops in Sargodha’s Kot Raja area when a man named Shamsher refused to administer drops to his children,” adding that “when the family was threatened with legal repercussion, they hurled verbal abuses and locked the two female workers in a room”.
A case has been registered against five suspects and an investigation has been initiated by the police, however, it has yet to apprehend a suspect.
Polio, or poliomyelitis, is a crippling childhood disease caused by the poliovirus and preventable through immunisation. The disease usually affects children under the age of five and can only be prevented by giving a child multiple vaccine doses, or it can lead to irreversible paralysis.
Country-wide anti-polio eradication as launched in the country on January 21. More than 39 million children under the age of five will receive two drops of the vaccine which will protect them against the poliovirus. At least 260,000 polio workers and more than 31,000 teams are participating in the drive across the country.
There were eight cases of polio in the country last year, representing a 97 per cent decline since 2014.
A country must have no cases for three consecutive years in order to be considered to have eradicated polio by the World Health Organisation.