Afridi set to shoulder anti-polio drive in Pakistan

Last Updated: Jul 03, 2012, 20:34 PM IST

Islamabad: The Prime Minister’s Polio Monitoring Cell and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in an effort to change the negative perceptions regarding anti-polio vaccines have taken a decision to engage popular cricketer Shahid in Pakistan’s anti polio drive.

According to official sources, efforts to appoint the charismatic cricketer began three months back in a bid to appoint him as the “Polio Champion” alongside Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, who is currently the ambassador for polio eradication in the country.

Since then, exclusive photo shoots and video recording sessions have been conducted with Afridi which will be used as a part of UNICEF-funded advertising and mass media campaigns in future.

Afridi’s Pashto-speaking background can be highly significant in tribal areas and other Pashto speaking localities, where the pervasiveness of the crippling disease is the highest, according to an official, a newspaper reports.

Sources also revealed that the cricketer’s appointment would be made known during a ceremony before the upcoming anti-polio campaign in the second week of this month.

The polio cell’s spokesperson Mazhar Nisar confirmed Afridi’s appointment.