Receiving polio drops is a major issue among the Pashtun community. However, the views of some in the community are changing. Fazal Jan, a Hajji from Mohammad Agency expresses the change in the way he thinks with regards to polio drops after his visit to Saudi Arabia.
In his interview he said “We were told we would receive polio drops at Jeddah Airport.”
Further commenting on his views he added, “Had polio drops been harmful or dangerous why would Saudi Arabia being a Muslim country allow them?”
He also stated, “We used to think that the foreigners were deceiving us with polio drops. We would wonder why they would spend so much money on us.We thought our children would die from these drops and that they were trying to erase Pakistan’s future generations. But that’s not the case. Had that been true, Pakistan’s population would have decreased instead of increasing at the rate it is.”
While talking about the perspective of the Pashtun community regarding polio drops Medical Officer, Health Department Dr Assadullah Khan stated that “The pashtun community is of the view that on one hand the West is bombing its northern areas and Federally Administered Tribal Areas, and on the other they are providing polio drops to keep our children safe — so they wonder about these conflicting policies.”
He also mentioned, “We have to clarify to them the fact that those dropping bombs are not involved in the health sector, just like the health sector doesn’t go fight wars in battlefields, nor are they part of any army.”
Polio – Haji Camp by BlackBoxSounds This film is part of Black Box Sounds production, an initiative specializing in production aimed at social and development issues, behavior change communication and mass awareness since 2006. For further information, you can visit their website or Facebook page.