Some years back, in an interview in UAE, I unconsciously reminded the interviewer that treating patients in UAE was much easier than Pakistan, my home country. The prevailing rate of infectious diseases in all Arab countries is low. He immediately posed a question, how? My answer was simple that deaths in Pakistan from infectious diseases were a daily routine. The sorrowful aspect of this unending tragedy was that the numbers of doctors specializing in treating infectious diseases was negligible as compared to our huge population. Diagnostic tools and isolated beds were also not available as per requirements. More than 12 per cent of our population is suffering from Hepatitis, which is a deadly viral disease, and we have the highest ratio all over the world.

Can I ask our leaders, politicians and policy makers why their interest is only in eradicating polio and not other preventable deadly infectious diseases that cannot be neglected at any cost? Some polio experts, as a mouthpiece for World leaders have termed Polio in Syria, a man-made outbreak and war crime. It is on record, that there was mass condemnation from many countries and individual bodies involving sham polio immunization to trace Osama Bin Laden. India is actively considering asking the visiting Pakistanis to prove that they are polio free and immunized against the disease. Taking an anti-polio dose is mandatory for every national, living in Saudi Arabia. But I personally believe that polio is being used as a political tool and not a health issue per see.

DR MUKHTAR ALI,

Kurram Agency, March 31.