Punjab Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) Coordinator Syedah Ramallah Ali has emphasised on parents to continue vaccinating their children until polio is completely eradicated from Pakistan.
The call was made on Saturday at the pre-campaign polio National Immunisation Days (NIDs) activities organised at Mian Mir Hospital. In addition to the EOC coordinator, health officials of Lahore were also present.
“Although Punjab is free of polio case since October 2020, some of the sewage samples collected in July and August have tested positive,” she said.
The re-emergence of the virus must send an urgent message to parents to ensure that children are administered two polio drops under every immunization drive.
Monsoon rain coupled with displacement of families due to floods pose serious challenges in achieving full vaccination of children in the imminent NIDs campaign.
The Punjab government is mindful of the challenge and has adopted a pro-active approach toward this end.
The head of polio programme called on parents to cooperate with polio eradication teams going door to door in order “to protect children against the crippling disease”.
“Oral polio drops in every campaign and routine immunisation is the only way to protect children from polio virus. Owing to the recent outbreak in Pakistan, parents need to vaccinate their kids on time and in every campaign,” Ramallah stressed.
She disclosed that polio teams had been directed to pay special attention to vaccination of children belonging to high-risk groups in the very high-risk districts.
“Polio virus thrives amongst the most vulnerable communities and marginalised groups. The campaign will help boost immunity of children in under-served areas. The Punjab Emergency Operations Centre has set up transit points to engage with mobile and migratory populations arriving from and departing to all parts of the country,” the EOC coordinator pointed out.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 21st, 2022.
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