PESHAWAR/QUETTA: Three days of oral polio vaccination (OPV) campaign and the second phase of the eight-day injectable/inactivated polio vaccination (IPV) campaign in Fata will start from Monday (today) under the supervision and security provided by political agents, commissioners and the armed forces.
Three-day oral polio vaccination (OPV) campaign will take place from March 20 to March 22 followed by catch-up of missed children in Bajaur, Mohmand, Orakzai, Kurram, FR Peshawar and FR Kohat; where only oral polio vaccine (OPV) will be administered to children.
Whereas the second phase of the eight-day injectable/inactivated polio vaccination (IPV) campaign will be carried out from March 20 to March 27 in North Waziristan, South Waziristan, Khyber Agency, FR Tank, FR Lakki, FR D I Khan and FR Bannu, wherein oral polio vaccine will also be administered to the children.
EOC Fata Coordinator Dr Fida Mohammad Wazir said “injectable/inactivated polio vaccine administered in previous couple of years aided in reducing polio cases in Fata to only two polio cases last year. And phase-wise administering IPV to children in this year’s campaigns will allow us to maintain the zero polio-case status for Fata in the upcoming months.”
In 2017 no polio case has been reported from Fata so far while last year only two polio cases were reported from South Waziristan Agency.
A total of 525,014 children, below the age of five, will be vaccinated with only oral polio vaccination (OPV) in Bajaur, Mohmand, Orakzai, Kurram, FR Peshawar & FR Kohat by 1,837 teams, comprising 1,600 mobile teams, 182 fixed teams and 55 transit teams.
In North Waziristan, South Waziristan, Khyber, FR Tank, FR Lakki, FR D I Khan and FR Bannu, a total of 164,589 children between the ages of 4 and 23 months will be vaccinated with IPV, and 200,589 children between the ages of 0 and 23 months will be vaccinated with OPV.
EOC Fata Coordinator Dr Fida Mohammad Wazir said, “IPV given in addition to multiple doses of OPV is the best combination to protect a child and their community from polio” since it will raise the immunity level of community for prolonged period of time and prevent polio virus to persist through transmission.
Campaign opens in Balochistan
Coordinator Emergency Operation Center Balochistan Syed Faisal Ahmad has said that a three-day polio immunisation campaign is set to begin from March 20 across 29 districts of Balochistan to ensure each child is immunised against the crippling virus.
While addressing a press briefing in Quetta, Ahmad said the campaign would cover all the districts except Ziarat, where arrangements have been made to start the campaign on March 27.
He said that security arrangements, in this regard, have also been finalised. During the campaign, 9,532 teams will participate, in which 8,079 mobile teams, 810 fixed sites and 643 transit points are included. He said the campaign aims to cover 2,428,547 children of five years and below.
“During the polio campaign, religious scholars will provide their services for the purpose of creating awareness among the people of Balochistan, particularly in the districts, where polio viruses are present,” Ahmad said.
In the past, he said, several villages and towns across the province would refuse to get their children vaccinated.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 20th, 2017.