Despite having the highest number of cases, KPK doesn’t have a single member on National Strategic Advisory Group for polio eradication

Every province apart from KPK has a representative in the National Strategic Advisory Group.

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The federal government has recently formed a group known as the National Strategic Advisory Group for the eradication of polio. Surprisingly, KPK doesn’t have a single member in the respective group regardless of the fact that the ratio of polio cases in KPK is the highest.

You may have heard from many people across the country calling polio a Pakhtunkhwa problem. According to statistics, 89% of the total cases of this insuperable disease from Pakistan are from KPK, Sindh (particularly Karachi), and Balochistan. And sadly, out of all the seven members of the polio eradication board, not even a single one is from KPK.

As reported by the officials, Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan, specifically helped in the constitution of the National Strategic Advisory Board along with Dr. Zafar Mirza, PM’s Advisor on Health. The motive behind forming the group is to separate the health issues of the masses from the political influence and benefit from experts’ more extensive pieces of advice.

Ayesha Raza Farooq (a member of PML-N) and Shahnaz Wazir Ali (a member of PPP) have been appointed as Advisory Group’s members in order to depoliticize the polio eradication program. Ayesha Raza Farooq worked as the focal person to the PM on polio eradication in the tenure of PML-N. Whereas, Shahnaz Wazir Ali served as PM’s special assistant on social issues during the rule of PPP in the past.

There are other members in the Advisory Group as well, including Chairman of the NA Standing Committee on Health, Khalid Hussain Mugsi (a member of Balochistan Awami Party), former UN representative of Pakistan in Geneva, Zamir Akram, PTI’s Parliamentary Health Secretary, Dr Nosheen Hamid, and an MPA of PTI from Sindh, Dr Sanjay Gangwani.

Every province apart from KPK has a representative:

Every province apart from KPK has a representative in the National Strategic Advisory Group. Other than PTI, other parties have given representation as well, including PML-N, BAP, and PPP. Besides, the minority Hindu committee has an image too, Dr. Sanjay Gangwani.

Rendering to the stats, 91 severe cases of polio have been reported this year, and with sheer disappointment, 66 of them were from KPK. Cases from Fata are also included in KPK since they’ve merged. As a matter of fact, for the last two years, Fata had come clean of polio before it merged with KPK regardless of its below-average healthcare system.

After KPK, the next one is Sindh with 13 polio reports followed by Balochistan (where almost seven cases have been reported this year). The number of polio cases in Punjab has been the lowest so far, 5 cases were reported this year. Another thing that raises the red flag is that cases reported in Sindh, predominantly Karachi, and Balochistan are mostly Pashtun children.

Despite the apparent issues, the government of Pakistan (with all its wise decisions) chose not to give KPK a representation in the Advisory Group where polio cases have been the highest among all other provinces combined.

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