ISLAMABAD: Facebook, on the request of Government of Pakistan has blocked 31 pages which were circulating false information against the polio vaccine campaign.
Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Polio Eradication Babar Bin Atta expressed his commitment to fighting against everyone who tries to stop the government from ending polio in the country.
The Propaganda campaign against polio vaccination in Pakistan was launched by some ill minded individuals over social media when they associated the death of a young girl with the newly launched campaign. Although the allegations were proved wrong as the autopsy report indicated a peanut as the cause of death, the campaign did a considerable damage.
In May, the government requested Facebook to take action against an organized campaign which is countering polio vaccine on unconfirmed and vague information. Facebook has started blocking accounts and pages to prevent from using their platform against Polio vaccine.
Hurdles for Polio vaccine campaign in Pakistan come in different forms. Sometimes it is given a religious flavor while at other times it is shown as not being a curative vaccine, rather one that creates Polio itself. Pakistan is one of the only two countries where Polio has not yet been eradicated and as such holds serious concern for the government.
Since 2014, The World Health Organization even imposed travel restrictions on Pakistani citizens travelling abroad. Pakistani citizens therefore have to keep polio vaccination certificate to fly abroad.
Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder and philanthropist has shown personal interest in eradication of Polio from Pakistan, recently calling Prime Minister Imran Khan raising concern on the recent increase in the cases of Polio. He also desired to meet Imran Khan in the upcoming United Nation General meeting next month.