Coordinator Emergency Operations Center Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Akbar Khan has said that the province has managed to achieve remarkable successes in polio eradication and restricted virus transmission to Khyber-Peshawar Block despite faced with multifaceted challenges in terms of security and population movements.
Talking to APP, Akbar Khan said the province has achieved more than 95 percent of its target so far in the on-going anti-polio drive that started from December 19, 2016 across the province.
He said that the coverage was still on and teams were visiting houses to cover the remaining missed children adding that 5350032 children are inoculated so far against the total target of 5640972, he added.
Akbar Khan said that around 83 percent of the recorded missed children have been covered and the coverage of the remaining missed children continued. Team Leader Polio UNICEF, Dr Johar informed that 31,645 zero dose children have been immunized so far in the December NID campaign in the province.
He said that the province has registered more than 50 percent decrease in reporting of polio cases while the number of still missed children has declined by 78 percent in the province.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has shown remarkable decrease in terms of reporting polio cases as the province recorded 23 cases in 2011, 27 in 2012, 11 in 2013, 68 in 2014, 15 in 2015 and 8 in 2016 so far, he added.
Moreover, he went on to add that the national polio case count in 2016 is 19 till date out of which 8 cases are from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 8 from Sindh, 2 from FATA and 1 from Balochistan, he added.
Dr Johar on this occasion informed that introduction of female teams under the new approach of Continuous Community Protective Vaccination (CCPV) in Peshawar, Tank and Bannu districts, brought marked improvement in tracking and coverage of missed children, micro-senses and registration of each and every child.
Apart from that communication staff has been hired in high risk districts that helped in addressing the misconceptions and operational hurdles in the programme, he said, adding that strong and robust surveillance system has been put in place by Emergency Operations Center KP to improve quality of campaigns and fix the remaining gaps.
Dr Johar told that this is last low season and we are extending full support to the government to reach the finishing line. He said that we cannot afford to go back on the achievements made so far and requested media, parents and every segment of society to support this noble cause and protect the children from lifelong disability.
He said that people are mature and will not listen to rumours and any propaganda news against the vaccination. Dr Johar said that door to door vaccination started since 1994 in the country and is not a new phenomenon adding that it was the safest vaccine certified by World Health Organization (WHO) and has no side effects.—APP