LAKKI MARWAT   -   A grand Marwat jirga has assured its full support to the district administration, health department and its partner organisations in their efforts to eliminate polio and make the district free from the crippling disease.

The assurance was given at a meeting held at the dis­trict headquarters complex Tajazai on Thursday. Dep­uty Commissioner Jehangir Azam Wazir, Additional Deputy Commissioner Noorul Amin, Assistant Com­missioner Eid Nawaz Sherani, area elders, tribal chiefs of Betanni subdivision, religious scholars, local bod­ies members, officials of line departments, represent­atives of health department partner organisations, po­litical and social activists were in attendance.

The jirga was convened to seek support from all stakeholders.

“Eradicating polio has become a challenge for us as around 12 confirm polio cases had surfaced in Ban­nu division putting Lakki Marwat district in danger zone and lives of children under the age of five years at stake,” the deputy commissioner said. He said that the district administration with the support and assis­tance of all stakeholders was ceaselessly engaged in ef­forts aiming to wipe out the deadly disease completely.

“Having confirmed polio cases in neighbouring Ban­nu and DI Khan districts there are chances of outbreak of poliovirus in the district,” he feared, adding that the prevailing situation demands dedication and full-fledged commitment on part of all concerned to play an effective role for elimination of fatal epidemic from the district.

Wazir said that a terror incident in tribal subdivision and malicious propaganda against anti-polio vaccine badly affected the quality of previous campaigns.

“Besides causing lifelong paralyse to kids the disease can prove fatal for children up to the age of five years,” he maintained, saying that the children can be saved from crippling disease by administration of two drops of oral polio vaccine to them.

He said that the administration was all set to engage secretaries and members of village and neighbour­hood councils in the forthcoming polio eradication campaigns so as to ensure immunisation of target­ed population at all costs. The deputy commissioner asked people not to link their demands with vaccina­tion of children.

“Many parents refuse to get their children admin­istered with OPV for want of fulfilment of their de­mands,” he maintained, adding that demand based re­fusal by parents can prove dangerous to the health of their children.

He asked people to extend all out support to health department and its partners’ organisations in that re­gard as active participation on their part would help to make upcoming anti-polio drives a success and to get quality results.

District nazim Iqbal Hussain, district naib nazim Arab Khan, Lakki tehsil naib Nazim advocate Hafiz Asif Saleem, head of Marwat Qaumi Jirga Haji Muhammad Aslam Khan, Maulana Samiullah Mujahid and health experts also spoke on the occasion.