The polio vaccination campaign missed its targets once again in many districts, the World Health Organisation (WHO) post-campaign monitoring (PCM) report revealed on Thursday.
According to the report, 64 per cent children across the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) could not be administered the oral polio vaccine.
“Kohat was evaluated by the PCM as covering the highest number of children where 82 per cent coverage was recorded,” said Dr Elias Durry, Senior Coordinator for Polio Eradication at the WHO. Any district recording less than 95 per cent coverage is considered sub optimal under PCM criteria, he added.
Khyber Agency remains the most troublesome area for the vaccinators where only 21 per cent coverage was attained, according to the PCM report.
“We have recorded 6 consecutive polio cases from Bara tehsil in Khyber Agency while more than 150,000 have remained inaccessible to polio teams since 2009,” Dr Durry informed.
In Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Hangu is the most poorly covered district, recording 79 per cent coverage. Nowshera and Peshawar, meanwhile, remained the best with 97 per cent and 99 per cent respectively.
In Sindh, the PCM report recorded 89 per cent coverage in Karachi’s Kemari Town while Shah Faisal Town achieved a stunning 100 per cent coverage.
Khuzdar, with 72 per cent coverage, was the worst covered district in Balochistan. Mastung recorded 95 per cent coverage, remaining the best in the province.
Capital Development Authority (CDA) Islamabad recorded 91 per cent coverage whereas rural Islamabad (Islamabad Capital Territory or ICT) ended up recording 98 per cent coverage.
Punjab remained the best covered province, with only Faisalabad evaluated as suboptimal by the PCM report.
Regarding speculations about PCM suspension in Pakistan, Dr Durry said no such step is being considered, adding that WHO will continue to ensure independent and high quality monitoring through this system.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 18th, 2012.
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