ISLAMABAD     -   Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) Tuesday endorsed hundreds of Fatwas in support of polio vaccination.

According to Pakistan Polio Programme, the council’s apex body unanimously decided to ratify Fatwas by Ulema in support of polio eradication.

This is the first time that the government has sought CII’s help for controlling the polio virus in the country.

According to official document of Islamic Ideology, the council was concerned that Pakistan would face increased travel restrictions due the country’s current polio caseload and could face further financial ramifications as a result of these restrictions.

CII Chairman Dr Qibla Ayaz said around 30 percent of polio vaccination refusals are made on religious grounds while the remaining 70 percent are for other reasons.

He said the council had supported Pakistan polio eradication programme to make it a polio-free country.

“Since 2014, refusals against the polio vaccine have been increasing on religious basis due to which the polio eradication programme has started getting Fatwas from religious scholars, madrassas and even the Al-Azhar University in Cairo to verify that the polio vaccine is not against Islam,” said focal person to prime minister on polio Babar Bin Atta.

“This development is anticipated to help reduce number of refusals and resistance to the polio vaccine during the upcoming polio vaccination campaign from November 4,” he added.

He said polio was a highly infectious disease caused by the polio virus that mainly affected children under the age of five. It invades the nervous system and can cause paralysis or even death.

He added while there was no cure for polio, vaccination was the most effective way to protect children from the disease.

 said each time a child under the age of five was vaccinated, their protection against the virus was increased. Repeated immunisations had protected millions of children from polio, allowing almost all countries in the world to become polio-free.