Anti-polio campaign launched in 12 Balochistan, 8 Punjab districts

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Quetta—Lahore All preparations are completed to vaccinate around 1.6 million children during the three days of “November Anti-Polio Campaign” in 12 districts of Balochistan.
Coordinator for provincial Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) Balochistan, Syed Faisal Ahmed, said in a statement issued, here on Tuesday that all essential preparations are completed in time for the three days Anti-Polio drive in 12 districts across Balochistan, which will kicked from Wednesday, November 23.
The three days Anti-Polio drive will be held in Dera Bugti, Qilla Saifullah, Qilla Abdullah, Naseerabad, Jaffarabad, Khuzdar, Pishin, Loralai, Quetta, Jhal Magsi, Zhob, Sherani and other high risk districts. “A total of 6,050 vaccination teams will be deployed to administer anti-polio drops to children under the age of five,” said Syed Faisal.
He further explained that 5,148 Mobile teams, 420 fixed sites and 482 transit points have been formed across Balochistan to make sure that all children are given polio drops. “We have adopted strict security to prevent any unpredictable situation. Frontier Corps (FC), Police and Levies force will be deployed to protect the polio workers,” he said.
He also mentioned that religious scholars would also be taking part to persuade the parents who normally refuse to administer the polio drops to their children. Besides, special efforts have been made by the Emergency Operation Centre to address disinformation about polio drive, he added.
In the current year, a total of 18 new polio cases have been reported in Pakistan while Balochistan has emerged with only one polio case last February, he said, adding that the laboratory result of the recent environmental samples collected from Qilla Abdullah, Pishin and Quetta have been found positive, which indicate that the virus is still posing threat to children and can infect and cripple more children anytime if they are not protected.
Meanwhile, Punjab will hold anti-polio campaign in eight districts from November 23 to 25 as part of the Sub National Immunization Day. This was stated by Advisor to Chief Minister on Health, Khawaja Salman Rafique here on Tuesday. He said that the campaign would target around 5.9 million children of below five years of age in the districts including Lahore, Multan, Rawalpindi, Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffargarh, Rajanpur, Rahim Yar Khan and Sheikhupura’s 20 union councils.
He said Punjab would make all out efforts to achieve maximum coverage in these districts. He said coordination with districts had been made to ensure complete preparations that included micro planning, meetings of district management, vaccine supply and mapping of population at greater risk to polio virus.
Kh.Salman Rafique said that a total of 15,212 mobile, fixed and transit teams would administer polio drops to children. He further said the campaign was being held in 806 union councils of the eight districts, adding that even though, Punjab had received no polio cases in the year 2016, the environmental samples had been positive on and off and that showed need to immunize children from the deadly disease.—APP