PESHAWAR -  Governor Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Iqbal Zafar Jhagra said his administration was working hard to increase access of health services to the people of Federally Administered Tribal Areas in a bid to reduce the high rate of maternal and child mortality in the tribal belt. 

He was speaking to members of a fact-finding committee established for investigating causes behind the death of children in Khyber Agency. The committee briefed him on their work and findings related to the incident.

The governor extended condolence to the bereaved families and directed that health department should utilise all resources to address the high rate of child and maternal mortality in FATA. He expressed satisfaction over the findings of the committee and stated that latest forensic tests and inquiry reports showed that none of the children in Khyber Agency was impacted by the anti-polio vaccine.

“We are very close to making our children of FATA safe from polio and cannot afford any leniency at this stage when so much has been achieved in the fight against the crippling disease,” he added.

Jhagra added that since no evidence had been found linking deaths of the children to anti-polio vaccines, therefore FATA citizens should rest assured that the vaccines are safe and they should not to listen to baseless propaganda.

He said vaccination of children during anti-polio campaigns in 2016 stand at 99 per cent, whereas, refusals in FATA are at the minimum, which shows the commitment of FATA citizens towards protecting their children and their communities from Polio.

He appreciated the efforts of parents, communities, levies’ force, Pak Army and polio teams in FATA and said with the support of security agencies polio teams have worked in challenging circumstances to vaccinate more than one million children in each campaign.

The governor emphasised that Polio eradication was a national emergency and we would not leave any stone unturned to realise our long-cherished dream of eliminating the virus from the country.