Anti-polio drive starts; 38.37m kids to be immunized nationwide

Islamabad

The second nationwide polio immunization campaign is set to start from Monday to vaccinate 38.37 million under five year age children. According to the official sources on Sunday, the programme will target 19.15 million in Punjab, 8.7 million in Sindh, 5.7 million in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 2.46 million in Balochistan, 1.03 million in FATA, 0.74 million in AJK, 0.237 million in GB and 0.313 million children in the federal capital.
A workforce of 260,000, that has brought Pakistan close to victory, will go house to house to vaccinate each child in every corner of the country. This included 24,355 area in-charges, 8,140 UC medical officers, 190,598 mobile, 10,276 fixed and 11,986 transit team members. The drive will start from February 19, in four districts of Balochistan included Killa Abdullah, Killa Saifullah, Zhob, Sherani and also in Karachi while due to bye-election the campaign will start from February 14, in district Lodharan.
With only eight reported cases last year and none in 2018, the nation is closest ever to its goal. The national and provincial leadership requested every Pakistani to support ‘Sehat Muhafiz’ in the national cause of vaccinating own children as well those in their neighborhood. In a message, Minister for National Health Services, Saira Afzal Tarar said the present elected government took the challenge of widespread polio outbreak head on when it took office in 2013 and with all out effort today the country reported eight cases at the end of 2017 and no case this year.
‘We surmounted the polio challenge with bold decisions, commitment and good governance. Today, it is quoted as example of how political will and commitment can turn things around,’ she added. ‘We will not rest till there is zero case of polio in the country and there is no risk to our children.’ She appealed to parents to make this polio round a success like previous rounds.
A three-day anti polio campaign in FATA will be started from Monday in which 1005,774 children will be vaccinated. The Spokesman on Sunday said that total of 100,5774 children below the age of five years will be vaccinated with polio drops by 4368 teams, comprising 3987 mobile teams, 276 fixed teams and 105 transit teams. EOC FATA Coordinator Muhammad Zubair Khan has emphasized to focus on vaccinating children moving to and from the polio reservoir areas and the persistently missed children. —APP

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