The federal government has increased the daily allowance of polio workers by up to 25 per cent. This increase will benefit the 1, 00,000 (0.1 million) polio workers in the country. The government has increased the daily allowance in general areas of the country from Rs 400 to Rs 500, where as in hard areas it has been increased from Rs 750 to Rs 850.
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) has already approved the increase. The finance minister Asad Umar chaired the meeting of ECNEC.
The ‘hard areas’ refers to the mountainous regions of Balochistan and tribal districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Northern KP, where polio workers have to travel over a dozen kilometers daily on foot.In addition to terrain-related accessibility issues, polio workers in Pakistan also have to brave threats posed by hostile elements during their anti-polio campaigns.
As per the Emergency Operation Centre’s data, 79 incidents — pertaining mostly to threats, intimidation and harassment were reported by health workers in Balochistan alone during 2018.
Of these, 10 resulted in injuries to workers, with one incident of fatality reported in January 2018, where a community health worker along with her daughter was shot dead during anti-polio campaign in Quetta.
Polio workers are unsung heroes of this society who put their lives in danger to save children from polio. They earn meager salaries and daily allowances for their brave efforts to administer the polio drops in the far flung areas of the country.
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17 November, 2019