Afroz Alam Sahil, BeyondHeadlines
Despite considerable success of Pulse Polio vaccination, suspicion about its drops containing material capable of making the child impotent abounds every year. Jawaharlal Nehru medical College of Aligarh Muslim University has now come forward to fight this negative propaganda.
This suspicion is more amongst Muslim community, who is generally seen by many as the community with high population growth rate. Government from time to time has roped in community and religious leaders to weed out such rumours and to spearhead the movement to make India polio free.
The Medical College and Hospital of AMU has issued a circular against any such rumour. It says that “all the components of the vaccine are well tested and contains no harmful element capable of increasing impotency.” The same vaccine is used across the country “without any discrimination” and hence all rumours or propaganda against it are completely “baseless,” it added.
Pulse Polio immunisation campaign began in India in 1994.
The public interest advertisement being circulated is undersigned by Dr M Azhar Ansar, chairman of the Department of Community Medicine; Dr S Manazir Ali, chairman of Department of Paediatrics; and Prof M Ashraf Malik, Princiapl and Chief Medical Superintendent of JN Medical College of AMU.
The vaccine is United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) recommended and the same medicine is used in countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Indonesia and many such countries prone to the disease.
It further added, “Vaccine contains no component which is forbidden by Islam” and hence all “children below the age of 5 years must be given the doses of it.”