Citizens urged to avoid conspiracies on vaccination and family planning – Journal

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for National Health Services (NHS) Abdul Qadir Patel lamented on Monday that some elements tried to give the impression that the concepts of family planning and vaccination – against poliomyelitis and Covid-19 – are not compatible with religion.

Calling it “very dangerous behavior”, he said that on the issue of people’s welfare, the government had the support of religious scholars from all sects.

Addressing a seminar held as part of World Population Day, he said all stakeholders were working together to bring the population under control.

He said polio workers, who receive about Rs 1,000 a day to immunize children and save them from lifelong disability, have been killed and so far about 60 workers have given their lives in the exercise of their functions.

Sharing his personal experiences, Mr Patel said that while the Covid-19 vaccine was given freely, many people were reluctant to get vaccinated.

“In my neighborhood, someone refused to be vaccinated after which a doctor contacted me to convince him. I went to this person, who was 73 years old, and tried to convince him that he should get vaccinated. But he feared that after being vaccinated he would not be able to have any more children,” he said.

While no one has been able to substantiate claims that Covid-19 vaccines negatively impact reproductive health, such conspiracy theories abound on social media and impressionable people are often fooled.

Speaking at the event, the Minister of Health offered his own logic; he said people should understand that the ministry did not want to reduce the number of Muslims, but rather was trying to improve the health, quality of life and education of Muslims living in Pakistan.

“People need to understand that they live in a country where Muslims are already the majority. If they (Muslims) had been in the minority, there might have been a justification for increasing the population,” he said.

He warned that the country’s population is expected to reach 285-300 million by the end of the year 2030.

“It is an alarming situation and it is necessary to make the masses aware that Islam does not prevent them from the well-being of the people. It is necessary to mentally prepare the people to accept that such measures are taken in their interest,” he said.

The minister prayed that people would understand that the welfare of the people was in their interest and that they would stop seeing it as a foreign agenda or a conspiracy.

Posted in Dawn, July 19, 2022

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