Imam-e-Kaaba to Participate in Exclusive Anti-Polio Campaign

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In lieu of the recent travel restrictions placed on Pakistan, the government has decided to launch an exclusive anti-polio vaccination campaign in June with the help of the Imam-e-Kaaba. This announcement was issued by Saira Afzal Tarar, Minister of Health for the State, at the National Assembly. According to Tarar two key reasons for the failure of the recent Anti-Polio Campaigns were the inability to access certain areas due to geographical challenges, and the volatile law and order situation in others. The campaign in June hopes to overcome these two challenges with the help of the Imam-e-Kaaba who is scheduled to fly to Pakistan for this very purpose. As far as reaching out to the tribal areas is concerned, the government is involved in talks with the Taliban to ensure that the anti-polio vaccination campaign extends to children in these tribal areas too. According to Tarar, the travel restrictions may be lifted completely or reduced if Pakistan shows sufficient progress in eliminating the polio virus. This could happen as soon as three months from now. Till then, airports will be equipped with the facility of providing polio drops to those who have to travel abroad on short notice.

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