SARGODHA: A polio team was attacked and locked in a room by a family who refused to have polio drops administered to their children in Sargodha on Thursday.
According to police, a team of polio workers was administering polio drops in Sargodha’s Kot Raja area when a man named Shamsher refused the drops for his children.
When threatened with legal repercussion, the man and his family hurled verbal abuses at the two women health workers and locked them in a room.
Police registered a case against five suspects and initiated an investigation, however, it has yet to apprehend a suspect.
Polio, or poliomyelitis, is a crippling childhood disease caused by the polio virus and preventable through immunisation. Affecting mostly children under the age of five, polio — which has no cure and can only be prevented by giving a child multiple vaccine doses — 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.
The country continues to battle polio for the past several years and is close to completely eradicating the disease. The number of cases declined from 306 in 2014 to 54 in 2015, 20 in 2016 and eight in 2017. In 2018, 12 cases were reported.
A country must have no cases for three consecutive years in order to be considered to have eradicated polio by the World Health Organisation.