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Parents urged that children be vaccinated against polio

LAHORE: Participants in a seminar held at the Department of Public Health Institute of Social and Cultural Studies in Punjab University unanimously called on parents to oppose negative propaganda during the upcoming November 4 polio drives and to vaccinate their children.

The seminar was held to mark World Polio Day on Thursday and attended by pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Punjab University Prof Dr Saleem Azhar, senior journalist Mansoor Ali Khan, Head and Dean of Institute of Social and Cultural Studies Dr Rubina Zakir and representatives of Pakistan Polio Eradication Initiative.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Rubina Zakir said polio was a crippling disease which affected spinal cord and once affected a child could not recover for life.

“There are only three countries left in the world which are still polio endemic and Pakistan is one of them”, said Dr Rubina, adding students have an important role to play if Pakistan has to achieve polio-free status.

She added students can play an important role in overcoming resistance and being students of sociology department they have the additional responsibility to understand religio-social contexts of the community resistance and become key situation changer.

Prof Dr Saleem Azhar said it was the responsibility of the students to provide knowledge to the community and teach it to become receptive to vaccination.

“Punjab University has thousands of students who can serve as volunteers, provide outreach and we are ready to provide that”, the pro-VC said.

Mansoor Ali Khan said role played by some sections of media in propagating negative content in April was shameful. He urged the students never spread fake news, especially related to polio.

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