SUNDAY, JUNE 24, 2018

Police and students work to build support for polio eradication in Pakistan


The Global Polio Eradication Initiative announced on Dec. 18 that the Islamabad Police has developed an awareness campaign to provide information to the public on the importance of immunizing children against polio.

The police force used red, round, hand-held signs with bold letters that say "STOP polio." The signs are called "Signs of Life," and are part of the campaign developed by Inspector General of Police Sikander Hayat.

The education initiative was rolled out in November in Islamabad. Hayat said the program furthers the police department's commitment to "protect and prevent."

"Just as polio drops protect you against life-long paralysis and death, wearing seatbelts and helmets also provides protection by saving one's life," Hayat said.

Signs that show a child being vaccinated now appear along the road with signs that encourage buckling seatbelts and reducing speed. Vaccination booths were set up near police-run checkpoints to immunize children while parents wait.

Students from Bahria University work as volunteers to assist health workers at the vaccination booths.

"It is my first time being a volunteer and I feel very proud to contribute to help Pakistan to eradicate polio," student volunteer Zubaria said. "This is definitely a very valuable experience of my life which I will never forget."

Pakistan was the only polio-endemic country to have an increase in cases this year.