Rawalpindi - A number of families residing in Mohra Faqeeran of Union Council 86 Dhamial did not allow a polio team to administer polio drops to their children, reliable sources disclosed to The Nation on Saturday.

The families apparently belonged to Khyber Paktunkhwa, also threatened the two-member polio team engaged in anti-polio campaign that was kicked off following the instructions of high-ups of City District Government Rawalpindi (CDGR), the sources added.

The polio teams are even not provided with adequate security either by district government or the police due to which the polio team members are facing hardships in achieving their targets in several areas.

Earlier, a polio team also came under attack in the remote area of Kotli Sattian while police registered a case against the attackers, they said.

A polio campaign has been kicked off in the district on instructions of district government.

According to sources, a two member female polio team arrived in Hussain Lajpal Street in Mohra Faqeeran of Dhamial for vaccinating the children aging between 1 to 5 years old when the heads of three Pakhtun families not only barred the polio team from administering polio drops to their children, but also threatened the team of dire consequences.

They said that the polio team got scared and immediately left the place without vaccinating the children. Later, the polio team brought the matter into notices of high-ups of district health department but no action was taken on complaint of polio team, sources mentioned.

They said in many other areas polio teams are also facing troubles in achieving their targets owing to insufficient security arrangements. From Commissioner Rawalpindi Division to area police, nobody is taking any step to secure the polio teams in field, sources said.

The polio team members, when contacted by The Nation, confirmed that the heads of families did not allow them for vaccinating the polio drops to their children in Hussain Lajpal Street in UC Dhamial.

They said, “The male heads of families also misbehaved with us and hurled threats of dire consequences. The family heads even did not allow us to mark their gates or walls to show that the polio team visited the area, they said.

“We are facing numerous issues in the field. Neither the government is paying us wages nor providing proper security. In UC Dhamial, we are facing threats and demand Chief Minister Punjab and Secretary Health Punjab to come forward to solve our problems,” the polio team member said.

Earlier, a polio team came under attack in Kamra area of Kotli Sattian during polio campaign. Police registered case against the attacker and started investigation.

According to details, a polio team member Umar Saqaaf appeared before Kotli Police Station officials and lodged complaint that he along with other members were administering the children with polio drops when a villager Munawar Hussain lost his temperament and attacked the polio team member.

“I was collecting the data of children of Munawar in official mobile phone after giving them polio drops when Munawar started thrashing with kicks and punches. The attacker snatched polio drops from me,” he said. He requested police for registration of case against the accused. Police lodged a case and started investigation.  

District Coordination Officer (DCO) Talat Mehmood Gondal and Executive District Officer (Health) Dr Arshad Ali Sabir were not available for their official version on the issue.