Parents set Mashokhel hospital on fire after anti-polio drops reportedly make children ill

PESHAWAR – A local hospital set on fire in Peshawar when about 40 children allegedly fell sick after being administered anti-polio drops on Monday.

The protestors (mainly parents) gathered outside Mashokhel Hospital and broke down the main gate and damaged the property of the hospital, an official told media.

“The children are stable now, they only complained of dizziness”, said Hayatabad Medical Complex spokesperson.

There can be no reaction to the anti-polio vaccine. “The vaccine was not expired and the condition of all the children is normal”, Kamran Afridi, Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) Coordinator said this while talking to Geo News.
Afridi further said, “Doctors also said the children did not get a reaction from the vaccine. There are parents in Masho Khel who do not want to administer the drops to their children and they could have felt sick owing to other reasons.”

National Coordinator of Polio Eradication Programme Dr Rana Safdar told Radio Pakistan Islamabad that the anti-polio drive will target 39 million children in all four provinces, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.

On Monday, a countrywide campaign to administer anti-polio drops to children by five years of age has commenced.

National Coordinator of Polio Eradication Programme Dr Rana Safdar said that the anti-polio drive would target 39 million children across Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.

He urged the people to cooperate with polio teams to administer drops to safeguard their children against this crippling disease.

Earlier on Thursday, polio eradication programme had confirmed the presence of active poliovirus in the sewage of 12 big cities of the country.

As per details, the P-1 poliovirus was found from the sewage of cities including, Peshawar, Lahore, Karachi, Rawalpindi, Banu, Mardan, Waziristan, Hyderabad, Sukkur and Shahdadkot.

In view of the alarming situation, sources maintained the authorities had decided to extend the target age from five to 10 years for the administration of the anti-polio drops.

Earlier, two new polio cases were reported in the country.

According to the prime minister’s focal person for polio eradication, Babar Bin Atta, the first case had been reported in a four-month-old girl in Hangu while another was detected in an eight-month-old boy in Lahore’s Shalimar Town.