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Afghan, Pakistani Ulema Vow Support To Anti-Polio Campaign

16 Apr 2019 Tolo News

A group of Afghan and Pakistani religious scholars at a ceremony in Oman on Monday, April 15, called on the people not to deprive their children of polio vaccination.

The Joint Afghanistan-Pakistan Eminent Ulema Conference for Supporting Polio Eradication was aimed at encouraging Afghans and Pakistanis to support the polio vaccination campaign and pay attention to the health of their children.   

“At the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, we believe that Ulema have an important role to play in maternal and child health. They have the mandate from the Qur’an and prophetic Sunnah, as well as the presence on the ground among the people and their congregations,” said Abdunur Sekindi, Professional

Officer, Department of Science and Technology, Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

Mufti Ehsanul Haqq Hanafi, Member of Darul Ifta Supreme Court and of the National Islamic Advisory Group in Afghanistan, meanwhile, called on those scholars rejecting the polio vaccine to reconsider their stance for the sake of protecting children’s health.

This comes as one member of polio vaccination campaign was killed in an attack by unknown armed men in Pakistan two weeks ago.

According to a WHO report in January, Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two countries in the world with wild poliovirus. 

WHO says in a report that as recently as 30 years ago, wild poliovirus paralyzed more than 350,000 children in more than 125 countries every year. 

Today, the report says, the virus has been beaten back to less than 30 reported cases in 2018 in just two countries – Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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