PESHAWAR Former ameer Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Qazi Hussain Ahmad Saturday kicked off anti-polio drive in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by administering polio drops to children in the three-day National Immunisation Campaign, which would start across the country from October 24 (tomorrow). The programme was organised here at press club by the National Research and Development Foundation (NRDF) in collaboration with UNICEF and Heath Department Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Saturday. Renowned religious scholars, officials of the department and representatives of UNICEF were present on the occasion. In his address, Qazi Hussain Ahmad said the Islamic teachings emphasised on taking care of health of all, especially of mother and children, adding that polio vaccines were neither medically harmful nor they were forbidden in Islam. He maintained that they should not only protect their children from this disease, but also be a part of every effort being carried out in eradicating it from the country. The role of ulema is of great significance in creating awareness among people on the issue. They are duty-bound to promote and support the anti-polio campaign for making the country polio free, he opined. Flanked by Maulana Jehanzeb from NRDF, Dr Abdul Jameel, Dr Abdul Qayyum, Dr Bilal and Shadab Younas, the UNICEF representatives and Dr Iqbal Khalil, president of Al-Khidmat Foundation, he said it was a matter of grave concern for all of them that Pakistan was one of the four polio endemic countries in the world and the number of polio cases was increasing with each passing day, as the latest figures put the number of polio patients at 131 in the country. Expressing his concern over the fact that KP and Fata is contributing a major part to the polio cases counting 37 from Fata and 11 from KP, he called upon the people of KP and tribal areas to join hands to save their children from this crippling disease. The JI former ameer said that in Fata the main issue was inaccessibility because of security situation that was why the people should cooperate with anti-poli teams to address the disease. He said he fully supported the polio immunisation campaign. He appealed to parents to cooperate with vaccination teams and get their children vaccinated. He appreciated the efforts of UNICEF and Health Department and its partner organisations for creating awareness about eradicating polio from the country. Later, Qazi Hussain Ahmad administered polio drops to children to formally kick off the anti-polio campaign in the province and prayed for the success of the efforts against polio.