ISLAMABAD: Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) on Tuesday endorsed hundreds of fatwas in support of polio vaccination.
According to the Pakistan Polio Programme, the council’s apex body unanimously decided to ratify fatwas by ullema in support of polio eradication.
This is the first time that the government has sought CII’s help for controlling polio virus in the country.
According to the official document of the CII, the council was concerned that Pakistan would face increased travel restrictions due the country’s current polio caseload and could face further financial ramifications as a result of these restrictions.
CII Chairman Dr Qibla Ayaz said around 30 per cent of polio vaccination refusals are made on religious grounds while the remaining 70 per cent are for other reasons.
He said the council has supported Pakistan polio eradication programme to make it a polio free country.
“Since 2014, refusals against the polio vaccine have been increasing on religious basis due to which the polio eradication programme has started getting Fatwas from religious scholars, madrassas and even the Al-Azhar University in Cairo to verify that the polio vaccine is not against Islam,” Focal Person to Prime Minister on Polio Babar Bin Atta.
“This development is anticipated to help reduce the number of refusals and resistance to the polio vaccine during the upcoming polio vaccination campaign from November 4, 2019” he added.
He said polio is a highly infectious disease caused by the polio virus that mainly affects children under the age of five. It invades the nervous system and can cause paralysis or even death.
He added while there is no cure for polio, vaccination is the most effective way to protect children from the disease.
He said each time a child under the age of five is vaccinated, their protection against the virus is increased. Repeated immunisations have protected millions of children from polio, allowing almost all countries in the world to become polio-free.