PESHAWAR: A four-day polio campaign has been planned in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, stated a press release issued on Sunday.
The drive has been organised in collaboration with Unicef, World Health Organization and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
It will be carried out under the supervision of the political agents and commissioners.
“Children in high-risk areas — including Khyber Agency, South Waziristan, North Waziristan and Frontier Region (FR) Bannu — will be administered polio drops,” read the statement.
As per the document, around 3,698 teams will administer the vaccines to 980,353 children under the age of five.
“The teams comprise 3,333 mobile teams, 276 fixed teams, and 89 transit teams,” the document stated. “The percentage of children vaccinated in the first two months of the year was above 97%.
However, the rate of refusals remained below 1%. The percentage of children not available at homes was higher than the rate of refusals.”
In 2015, only 16 polio cases surfaced in Fata and FRs – one polio case in North Waziristan, two in South Waziristan, two in FR Peshawar and 11 in Khyber Agency.
The National Immunisation Drive will be conducted in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa soon.
At least 5,586,250 children will be inoculated against the crippling virus.
Over 15,398 mobile teams will be administering polio drops to children under five.
At least 10 union councils in Chitral district will miss the drive because of snowfall and bad weather.
Swabi will miss the campaign due to security reasons for a third time and a separate drive will be conducted there.
At least five cases have been confirmed in 2016, with three cases from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and one each from Balochistan and Sindh.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 14th, 2016.