Three-day drive: Anti-polio campaign targets 5.6m children

Some 15,092 mobile, 1,592 fixed, 924 transit and 159 roaming teams are to take part in the three-day campaign

Our Correspondent February 27, 2017
Attempts to eradicate polio in the country have been hit by militant attacks on immunisation teams that have claimed more than 100 lives since December 2012. PHOTO: REUTERS

PESHAWAR: Health officials have finalised preparations for a three-day anti-polio campaign that will target 5.6 million children on Monday (today).

Plans for the new drive were finalised after the Emergency Operations Centre received preparedness reports from all districts, according to Akbar Khan, coordinator for the provincial EOC.

The decision, he said, was taken at a meeting attended by representatives of Unicef, EPI, WHO and other departments concerned.

Terming the provincial capital polio-free, Khan said that Peshawar had been polio-free since February last year.

“No polio case has yet been reported and efforts are being made to stop transmission of the virus in other high-risk areas across the province,” he said.

During the meeting, he said, a comprehensive plan was outlined to ensure polio eradication in 2017. Inactivated polio vaccines (IPV) will also be administered as part of the plan.

“This will boost immunity in children,” he said.

According to EOC data, as many as 5.647 million children below the age of five would be administered anti-polio drops across the province, including at 77 camps populated by temporarily displaced persons and Afghan refugees.

The campaign will be launched simultaneously in 1,032 union councils by at least 17,767 teams of trained health workers.

Some 15,092 mobile, 1,592 fixed, 924 transit and 159 roaming teams are to take part in the three-day campaign.

Calling the anti-polio vaccine safe, he said that polio had been eradicated across the world with the same vaccine. He appreciated the positive role of the media.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 27th, 2017.

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