Parents should coordinate in vaccination by not to pay attention to rumours : Shamina Shafiq
New Delhi, 6 March: Former member of NCW and Director of POWER Foundation told media persons in a press release, there was a time when India was considered the Polio Capital of the world but there has not been a single confirmed polio case since 2011, compelled the World Health Organization to declare India as a Polio Free Nation. She added, There was also a time when 90% of the polio cases in India were confined to the western UP and some parts of Bihar and they were predominantly among the children in the Muslim community because of community’s unfounded perception that drive against a polio was a conspiracy to make children impotent, and thereby check the rising population of Muslims in India. Even after these mindless rumours, Polio is a history now but the tendency that crippled Muslim children with debilitating effects of polio refuses to die down. Once again, rumor mongers in the community are on an overdrive with their stupid conspiracy theories, advising gullible Muslim parents not to vaccinate their children. As more rumors spreads through social media, especially on Whats App we hear more and more Muslim parents saying ‘No’ to immunize their children. All this is at a time when the government has launched a new vaccine MR-VAC to control spread of and rubella. Shamina Shafiq said, I would like to ask if those spreading such rumors and conspiracy theories are aware that out of the 1,34,000 measles deaths globally in 2015, an estimated of 47,000 deaths occurred in India alone. In other words, in 2015, nearly 36% of the globally reported measles death took place in our country. She pointed that Measles is staging a comeback all over the world, including in countries like the US where it was thought to have been wiped out long ago. All these countries have now begun immunizing their children against measles so we should welcome the inclusion of vaccination against measles in the routine immunization program in India. India’s MR vaccination campaign is the world’s largest vaccination campaign against measles and rubella. In India, 2.7 crore children are born each year and, among them, 11.4 lakh children die before celebrating their fifth birthday, mostly because of vaccine preventable diseases. So, we can safely assume that if all children in the country are fully immunized, we can substantially reduce the infant and Under-5 mortality in the country.