Islamic Advisory Group for Polio eradication adopts Af-Pak polio plan

Islamic Advisory Group for Polio eradication adopts Af-Pak polio plan

ISLAMABAD (APP): The Islamic Advisory Group for Polio Eradication (IAG) has adopted a new work-plan to help in the final push to end polio in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The announcement came at the conclusion of the third annual meeting for the Group held at the Islamic Development Bank’s headquarters in Jeddah, which also expressed the group’s intention to expand its role by supporting other vaccinations and initiatives that benefit mother and child health.

In the past few years polio eradication has been hindered in some Muslim countries due to misperceptions and lack of safe access to the children for vaccination, says a fax message received here from Jeddah.

In a statement issued by the meeting, the IAG stated that it “reiterates its trust in the safety and effectiveness of polio and other routine childhood vaccinations as a life-saving tool which protects children; and acknowledge that it fully conforms to Islamic rulings.”

The statement also affirmed the religious obligation of parents to vaccinate their children to keep them healthy.

Dr. Saleh Bin Abdallah Bin Humaid, President of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy, reminded meeting participants of Holy Prophet Muhammed’s (Peace be Upon Him) call to Muslims that they should “seek treatment, O worshippers of God, for God did not send down an illness except having sent down a medicine for it apart from aging”.

Humaid also explained that seeking medical treatment to fight illness does not contradict putting one’s faith in God’s Will since that is equivalent to eating and drinking to tackle hunger and thirst.

The IAG was launched in 2013 after consultations between the International Islamic Fiqh Academy (IIFA), Al Azhar Al Sharif, the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) who make up the core membership of the group.

The leaders of these organizations, as well as other religious scholars, technical experts and academics from the Muslim World participated in the meeting held today.

Among the topics discussed during the meeting was the danger of leaving the public to fall prey to misperceptions and the important role Islamic scholars can play in rectifying people’s understanding about health matters.

The deputy of Al-Azhar Al Sharif, Dr. Abbas Shouman, said that these misperceptions usually arise due to fatwas that are issued by non-specialists who as a result leave children exposed to handicap or death.