Fighting polio: Khosa inaugurates immunisation drive

Vaccination to begin from July 18; no polio case reported in Punjab so far in 2011.

Express July 16, 2011


Senior Advisor to Chief Minister Sirdar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa on Saturday inaugurated the national immunisation campaign at Children Hospital.

The vaccination drive, however, would begin from July 18 (tommorow). Speaking on the occasion, Khosa said eradication of polio from the country was among the top priorities of PML-N’s Social Development Programme. He directed the Health Department officials to take particular care that children of the internally displaced families were vaccinated against polio.

He said a number of children in tribal areas had missed vaccinations because of threats from terrorists and the ongoing military operation in those areas.

He said the divisional commissioners and the district coordination officers would be responsible for meeting the targets.

Earlier, Special Health Secretary Wasim Mukhtar said 16,036,873 children under five years of age would be administered polio drops in the province from July 18 to 20.

No polio case has so far been reported in the province this year, Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) senior medical officer (SMO) Dr Shakeel told The Express Tribune. He said seven cases were reported in 2010, 17 in 2009, 31 in 2008 and only one in 2007.

He said 59 polio cases were reported in the country in 2011. Of these, he said, 18 were in Balochistan, 14 in Sindh, 20 in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), six in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and one in Gilgit-Baltistan.

He said in Punjab polio cases had mostly recently been reported in Rawalpindi, Mianwali, Dera Ghazi Khan and Muzaffargarh.

Dr Shakeel said Pakistan needed to eradicate polio by 2012 to avoid facing travel sanctions.

He said 31,960 health department teams had been assigned to carry out the vaccination campaign. Of these, he said, 2,197 would be mobile and 4,172 placed at designated points.

He said the campaign was part of the National Emergency Plan formed by the Ministry of Health to eradicate polio from the country.

He said executive district officers of health in all districts had been directed to ensure strict monitoring of the campaign.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2011.


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