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Pakistan: Facebook ready to combat anti-vaxxers

Islamabad, Mar 11: Close on the heels of the US health department’s action, Pakistan also decided to hold a campaign against anti-vaxxers, Dawn reported.

Anti-vaxxer is a person opposed to vaccination, typically a parent who does not wish to vaccinate their children. Pakistan government wants deletion of anti-vaccine videos alleging that vaccines are a conspiracy against Muslims, prime minister’s focal person on polio Babar bin Atta said. Social networking website Facebook has agreed to limit the reach of anti-vaccine videos in Pakistan.

“We have taken Director General of World Health Organisation (WHO) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations on board and also started efforts to involve other UN agencies to completely eradicate those videos from Facebook and YouTube,” he said.

Answering a question, Mr Atta said it was observed after the last month outbreak of measles in the US that a number of people hadn’t vaccinated their children due to anti-vaccine videos on social media. The US health departments then decided to hold a campaign against anti-vaxxers.

The focal person on polio said "This development created an opportunity for us as well, because a number of videos are shared on social media claiming that the vaccines are 'haram' or they are used as a conspiracy against Muslims. We have decided to make all-out efforts to get those videos removed from social media."

However, last year one dozen children were tested positive for the deadly virus. (UNI)