Islamabad [Pakistan]: Facebook has blocked at least 31 accounts which were reportedly involved in spreading "propaganda" against polio vaccination in Pakistan.
This comes after Imran Khan-led PTI government in Pakistan requested the social media giant to take action against the accounts. On Monday, rumours swirled over social media that a one-year-old girl had died after she was administrated with the polio vaccines. "Print and electronic media showed responsibility and decided to wait till getting the autopsy report of the deceased. However, an organised campaign was launched on the social media that the girl had died because of the vaccine and people should not vaccinate their children," Prime Minister's Focal Person on Polio, Babar Bin Atta said.
However, the autopsy has cited suffocation to be a cause of girl's death. Following this, the government approached Facebook with its demand. "As per the autopsy report, the girl died due to suffocation as a peanut got stuck in her throat. Just after getting the report we contacted Facebook and officially launched a campaign against those accounts which were involved in propaganda against the vaccine," he said.
While 58 cases have been confirmed in the South Asian country until now, only 12 and eight cases were confirmed in 2018 and 2017, respectively. While polio is highly infectious, it is easily preventable by the polio vaccine. Polio cases are presently reported from two countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Due to this, nationals of either of the countries undertaking travel abroad are recommended to be vaccinated at the start of their journey by the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB).