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Research Article Open Access
The objective of this study was to assess religious impediments to polio vaccination. The study was carried out in tehsil Khwazakhela of District Swat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. A sample size of 200 respondents was selected through simple random sampling. Chi square test statistics was used to test the association between the study variables i.e. religious barriers (independent variable) and impediments to polio vaccination (dependent variable). At Bi-variate level association of impediments to polio vaccination was found significant with clergies fatwah (verdict) against polio vaccination (P=0.040), perceiving polio vaccine as American ploy (P=0.001), common superstition spread by extremists (P=0.033) and militants threatened the people (P=0.028). Propaganda based on religious misbeliefs that polio vaccination is un-Islamic drive, aimed at sterilizing young Muslim male and female had some roots amongst the masses as exhibited from the findings of the data. A well-patronized campaign over media through proper display of victims from polio with explicit display of agonies of the polio victims is essential. Religious scholars efforts in endorsing polio vaccination drive could also make it undisputed amongst the users. This will act as catalyst in removing the fears, misconceptions and myths, and other fabricated stories from the minds of locals.
Polio vaccination, Religious impediments, pain managment