Muslim cleric, a pillar of UP’s anti-polio drive, to now push for measles-rubella vaccination

Maulana Rashid Khalid, a Muslim cleric from Firangi Mahali, Lucknow, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, was a big source of strength to the Indian government, UNICEF and health workers during India’s massive drive to eradicate the country of polio. When Uttar Pradesh, which reported most the country’s polio cases, struggled to accept the polio vaccine because its large Muslim population resisted it, the programme implementers turned to religious leaders like Khalid to dispel the community’s misconceptions and advocate the use of the vaccine. And the strategy was a big success. With India again seeing resistance to the measles-rubella vaccine due to false information being spread about its effect, Khalid plans to deploy similar convincing tactics as during the polio-drive.

Read more about his views in an interview with The Wire correspondent Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty, here: