Drive planned after poliovirus found in Bahawalpur samples

Campaign will be launched from Monday June 10 to June 14 in five tehsils of the three districts

Our Correspondent June 08, 2024


Punjab has decided to launch a special polio eradication campaign in three provincial districts after environmental samples from Bahawalpur’s Ahmad Pur site tested positive in May.

Campaign will be launched from Monday June 10 to June 14 in five tehsils of the three districts including Bahawalpur, Muzaffargarh and Rahim Yar Khan.

Three tehsils of Bahawalpur and one each in Muzaffargarh as well as RY Khan have been included in the campaign.

Over 7,000 workers will take part in the inoculation drive targeting 0.9 million children.

Punjab Emergency Operations Centre Coordinator and head of the polio eradication programme in Punjab Mr Khizer Afzaal chaired a readiness meeting with the District Health Authorities of the three districts on Friday.

The EOC coordinator confirmed detection of polio virus in environmental samples of Bahawalpur and instructed the DHA Bahawalpur officials to specifically focus on the polio campaign as the district has been found infected with the virus.

He highlighted the risk of further spread, saying the virus could infect other cities if not responded, putting more children at risk.

He reminded the district officials that Eid holidays were beginning in a few days and massive movement of people was expected, which puts the districts at even greater risk of virus importation.

The EOC coordinator directed the officials to utilize all resources to conduct a high-quality polio campaign to reach every child. Issuing instructions, he noted that all officials needed to personally visit priority areas.

Addressing officials belonging to RY Khan and Muzaffargarh, the EOC coordinator stressed on treating the polio eradication campaign as top priority.

He urged the officials to engage as much government accountable persons in the polio teams as possible.

“There should be no missing links. No missed children at the end of the campaign. The districts need to ensure proper reporting during and after the campaign and participate in evening meetings daily with the DCs,” he underlined.

Districts authorities who joined via a video link assured the EOC coordinator that they will remain vigilant and virus will be turned negative again as done previously.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 8th, 2024.



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