Parents Arrested for Refusing Polio Vaccine

Parents Arrested for Refusing Polio VaccineParents Arrested for Refusing Polio Vaccine

Pakistan authorities have conducted their first-ever mass arrest of parents for refusing to allow their children to be vaccinated against polio.

Authorities in Peshawar, in the north-west of the country, detained 471 people and charged them with “endangering public security”, BBC News website reported. The local government says they will only be freed once they have pledged in writing to vaccinate their children.

The government has declared “war” on the disease. “We have decided to deal with the refusal cases with an iron hand. Anyone who refuses will be sent to jail,” said Riaz Khan Mehsud, deputy commissioner of Peshawar.

Pakistan accounts for the vast majority of polio cases globally and is one of only three countries where it remains endemic.