Pakistan polio victims journey of resilience courage


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Pakistan polio victims journey of resilience courage

Health Desk :

QUETTA:  “My dream is to see polio-free Pakistan”, Khwaja Noor, a resilient and courageous polio victim says. Mr. Noor, a young man from Balochistan’s Pishin district contracted the crippling virus when he was one and a half years old. “Since then, I am facing difficulties”, the disabled young man with black trimmed-beard laments.

Like Khwaja Noor, the 28 years old young man, the poliovirus has disabled scores of people during the last three-decades in Balochistan. During the current year, Balochistan, Pakistan’s least populous province has reported 24 cases of the crippling virus. However, many victims of poliovirus have kept continued their struggle despite all difficulties.

Khawja Noor is indeed an example of resilience and courage when it comes to battle the virus. “Polio did not affect my resolve to go ahead and progress”, he said. He did his master’s in political science from the University of Balochistan in 2017. The tall thin young man finally got a job as an assistant computer operator in the Balochistan finance department.

In Balochistan, the government has reserved a 5 percent quota for disabled people in all departments. However, the authorities hardly implement this quota. “Thousands of vacancies are lying vacant for disabled people”, Noor ul Haq Baloch, the Balochistan Secretary Finance said.

For me, the biggest obstacle was to reach from one destination to another, he said. “It was tough for me like a disabled person to visit offices in search of a job”, Khwaja Noor mentioned as he narrates the tale.

“I used to feel foot ache in the night after visiting so many offices in the day”, he said.

Pishin, Khwaja Noor’s native district has been considered as one of the most sensitive districts regarding the poliovirus. Most of the chronic refusals are in Pishin, Killa Abdullah, and Quetta districts.

The former chief of the emergency operation cell (EOC), Dr. Syed Saif ur Rehman revealed that the number of refusals in Balochistan was over 4,000. Refusals, coupled with poor strategy by the government and donor agencies remained one of the underlying reasons behind the existence of the virus.

“There were no vaccines in Pakistan when I contracted the virus”, Khwaja Noor said.

Khwaja Noor made a passionate appeal to the parents to provide drops to their children to eradicate the virus. To the last question, he lamented, “I wish I could play”.

Around the globe, Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two countries that are yet to eradicate teh crippling virus.

Pakistan polio victims journey of resilience courage

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