ISLAMABAD, 27 February 2007 (IRIN) - Muslim and community leaders are seeking to counter the disinformation surrounding polio vaccinations in parts of Pakistan's North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and tribal areas.
"To make people understand the importance of polio immunisation in an Islamic context is extremely important. We are engaging moderate religious leaders, community leaders and influential tribal elders. And we are holding community jirgas [councils] to address the concerns of the parents and ensure their children are vaccinated," said Melissa Corkum, a spokesperson for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.
The message is "that the polio vaccine is safe and that the same vaccine has been used to eradicate polio in other Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia and Indonesia", Corkum said.