A five-day anti-polio campaign continued on Tuesday in eight districts of Punjab and three-day in 17 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). According to health officials, polio eradication teams are visiting door-to-door to administer anti polio drops to children below the age of five years.
In Punjab, 17,000 polio teams have been constituted to administer polio drops to children in Lahore, Dera Ghazi Khan, Multan, Muzaffargarh, Rajanpur, Rawalpindi, Rahim Yar Khan and Sheikhupura districts. In KP, 19,500 teams have been constituted for immunization in Peshawar, Charsadda, Nowshera, Mardan, Swabi, Malakand, Swat, Upper Dir, Lower Dir, Karak, Kohat, Hangu, Bannu, Lakki Marwat, Chitral, Tank and Dera Ismail Khan.
Polio teams are also be available at railway stations, bus stands, public places and Afghan Refugees camps to ensure administering of anti-polio drops to every child. Strict security measures have been taken to ensure protection of the polio teams.
Representative of UNICEF in Pakistan Aida Girma-Melakuhas has appreciated the efforts of government in eradicating polio from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. She expressed these views during her visit to KP polio Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) here on Tuesday. Coordinator EOC, Atif Rehman, UNICEF Chief Field Officer, Charles Nozoki, Director Health, Dr Akram Shah, Dr Johar Khan and concerned officials were present on the occasion.
Briefing Aida Girma-Melakuhas, Atif Rehman said that despite challenges the drive against polio continued successfully and only one case of polio was reported from KP last year. He said that polio teams were paying door-to-door visit for administrating polio vaccine to children in the province.
Speaking on the occasion, UNICEF Representative applauded the efforts taken by provincial government, EPI Centre and concerned departments against polio. She also assured cooperation of UNICEF in polio eradication efforts of the government.
The Chitral district administration and health department have constituted 505 teams to administer anti-polio drops to 68,104 children under five years of age in the district. According to a statement, Additional Deputy Commissioner Chitral, Minhasud Din, District Health Officer Israrullah Khan and Coordinator Expanded Programme for Immunization, Dr Fayaz Ali Romi have formally inaugurated the campaign by vaccinating the children.
EPI Coordinator Dr Romi said the campaign has started in 24 high risk union councils of Chitral.—APP