5,000 children vaccinated against polio

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Poliovirus London

As devotees continue to throng the shrines of Hazrat Baba Farid Ganj Shakkar and Hazrat Sultan Bahu, polio teams have vaccinated nearly 5,000 children in the first four days. The Punjab polio programme has deployed 16 polio teams at the shrines, a press release issued by the Emergency Operations Centre for polio eradication confirmed Thursday.

The teams will ensure vaccination of all children five years of age or less during the 10-day Urs celebrations, which began simultaneously in Pakpattan and Jhang. Based on the last year’s estimates, Punjab health department is anticipating arrival of 33,000 children belonging to Punjab and from other provinces in the Urs celebrations. Nevertheless, this success will remain fragile unless and until polio is completely eradicated from both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Punjab Health Department is fully cognizant of the potential impact on the country’s most populous province and remains committed to reaching all children. In addition to deploying polio teams at shrines, Punjab Emergency Operations Centre has set up transit points at inter-provincial boundaries, international airports and railway stations.

The teams deployed at these points vaccinate children belonging to mobile and migratory populations arriving from all parts of the country.

. “The deployment of transit teams will ensure that virus does not return to the province or find its way through Punjab to other provinces and affect more children”, said the Emergency Operations Centre Coordinator (EOC) and head of the polio programme in Punjab Ms Syedah Ramallah Ali.

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