PESHAWAR: A polio drive will begin in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Frontier Regions, a handout issued by the FATA Secretariat stated on Sunday.
During the drive, polio teams will focus on high-risk areas, including Jamrud and Bara in Khyber Agency, Baka Khel, Hindi Khail, Sintanga and Jani Khel in Frontier Region Bannu. The drive will also take place in South Waziristan and North Waziristan agencies.
Around 997,243 children will be administered polio drops, while 2,964 teams will take part in the campaign. Political agents and commissioners of different divisions will monitor the campaign and provide security to polio workers.
On January 6, 2016, at least 590,919 children below the age of five were immunised against polio virus during a six-day campaign held in Fata and FRs. The immunisation drives were carried out in Bajaur, Mohmand, Orakzai, Kurram and Khyber agencies and FR Kohat. In addition, 189,094 children were administered inactivated polio vaccines for which 607 teams, including 184 fixed, 393 outreach and 30 mobile teams were constituted.
In 2015, only 16 polio cases surfaced in Fata and FRs. Of them, one polio case was reported in North Waziristan, two in South Waziristan, two in FR Peshawar and 11 in Khyber Agency. Besides, three polio cases were confirmed in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in 2016.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 18th, 2016.