7.2m children to be administered OPV

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Special anti-polio drive starts in 11 Punjab, 6 KP districts

Lahore/Peshawar

Punjab launched an anti-polio campaign in 11 districts from Monday, March 20, Punjab Minister for Primary and Secondary Healthcare Khawaja Imran Nazir said this here on Sunday.
He said that the campaign was part of case response to a polio case, reported in Lodhran and positive environmental samples in Multan. The districts where campaign will be held are: Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffargarh, Rajanpur, Khanewal, Lodhran, Toba Tek Singh, Vehari, Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Multan and 37 union councils of Sahiwal.
Secretary Primary and Secondary Healthcare Ali Jan Khan said that over 5.9 million children under five years of age would be vaccinated during the campaign.
In KP, as many as 1.3 million children under-five years of age will be administered Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) in the anti-polio drive in six districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa including Peshawar from March 20, 2017. Chairing a high level meeting in this regard Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Coordinator Akbar Khan informed that the upcoming campaign has been planned in Peshawar and in northern districts of Shangla, Manshera, Abbotabad, Battagram and Kohistan as case response to Gilgilt Baltistan Case.
Representatives of UNICEF, WHO, BMGF and EPI were in attendance on the occasion. He said that the campaign would be conducted in selected union councils of Abbotabad, Mansehra and in the entire districts of Peshawar, Battagram, Kohistan and Shangla.
According to EOC data, 0.862 million children under five years of age will be vaccinated against polio in Peshawar, 83108 children in Kohistan, 17500 in Shangla, 90666 in Battagram, 85176 in Abbotabad and 69244 in Mansehra.
Akbar Khan said that stringent measures have been taken to provide security cover adding that teams have been constituted of trained health workers and are deployed on fixed and transit points.
Moreover, he went on to add that eight days inactivated polio campaign (IPV) has been planned in Kohat, Karak, Bannu and Tank districts of the province from March 22, 2017.
He informed that 191438 children aged between 4 to 23 months will be given IPV shots out of which 62092 in Kohat, 42822 in Karak, 28108 in Tank and 58422 in Bannu have been targeted for the campaign.
To reach the target 958 teams of trained health workers have been formed for the upcoming IPV campaign while 1856 community mobilizers will be engaged in the drive.
In North Waziristan, South Waziristan, Khyber, FR Tank, FR Lakki, FR DI Khan and FR Bannu, total of 164589 children between the ages of 4 months to 23 months will be vaccinated with IPV, and 200589 children between the age of 0 to 23 months will be vaccinated with OPV, bytotal of559fixed and mobile teams including 1116skilled vaccinators and social mobilizers, who have recently been trained to administer oral and IPV vaccine to the children. The IPV-OPV campaign will be focused on reaching and vaccinating every child for ultimate polio eradication.
EOC FATA Coordinator Dr. Fida Mohammad Wazir shared that 99 percent of the target children were successfully vaccinated with IPV during first phase of IPV campaign last month. He said IPV given in addition to multiple doses of OPV is the best combination to protect a child and their community from polio since it will raise the immunity level of community for prolonged period of time and prevent polio virus to survive through transmission.—APP