‘Humans have always used our intelligence and creativity to improve our existence. After all, we invented the wheel, discovered how to make fire, invented the printing press and found a vaccine for polio’ – Naveen Jain

Balochistan is one of the most beautiful provinces of Pakistan. The province is the largest among all in Pakistan. Due to various reasons, there were unpleasant incidents, poor administration, undeveloped infrastructure. Balochistan itself has faced many threats, some are conventional and some are non-traditional. One such non-traditional threat is Polio which hit Balochistan rigorously due to unawareness and low literacy rate.

The non-traditional threat is in limelight these days as Polio is itself is a devastating disease that had been nearly vanquished due to widespread public health efforts in Pakistan. But however, in Balochistan Polio is close to being eliminated.

In 2017, 10 out of 10 water samples were taken from Balochistan which were virus free from Polio. Still, pre-mediation is better than the ramifications being faced after the virus attack. The districts picked for the campaign are Barkan, Jaffarabad, Kila Saifullah, Loralai, Musakhail, Nasirabad, Zhob and Sherani. Moreover, the areas like Killa Abdullah, Pishin and parts of Quetta district where challenges are serious in carrying out successful anti-polio campaigns are also included.

Hence from Monday, a new project will be started which will entertain 2.4 million children in the Balochistan province. This vaccination campaign will be carried out in 3 days. More specifically under this campaign, there are 9,764 teams which will be deployed province-wide in addition to 890 fixed sites and 499 transit points. More important aspect is the guarantee of security which will be provided by the FC police, Levies and Pakistan Army.

The most interesting aspect is the addition of the religious scholars in the squad. In this campaign, these scholars will convince the parents to get their children get the vaccination. Furthermore, Coordinator Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) Syed Faisal Ahmed said that ‘sewage samples from Killa Abdullah and Quetta were checked and the virus came positive. We have achieved major goals in combating polio disease but we still need to strive to declare Pakistan a polio-free country’. He further added ‘we will not compromise on the security of the staff of the Health Department and volunteers engaged in anti-polio campaign’.

Taking a bird’s eye view Fata is the only region which has achieved 2016-2017 National Emergency Action Plan (NEAP) target of 95% in at least three anti-polio campaigns and not even a single case has emerged since July 27, 2016.

However, a total of five polio cases emerged across the country in 2017 with one case each in K-P, Punjab, Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and Sindh. The more important threat is from neighbouring country Afghanistan, where11 cases of the virus have been reported. Whereas Sanaullah zehri said 5 months ago that his government is making its utmost efforts to make the Balochistan polio-free province.

National security is just not merely about the traditional threats, nontraditional threats are now balancing the equation. Pakistan needs to adjust its security challenges accordingly, the non-traditional threats breached the security fabrication and put a dent in the socio-economic pyramid.


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