In view of the resurgence in the number of polio cases, another sub-national anti-polio campaign will begin in all high-risk districts including the federal capital on Monday, following a week-long delay.
After a series of terrorist attacks on vaccinators, Pakistan has not been able to launch anti-polio drives as planned in the National Emergency Action Plan for Polio Eradication 2013. However, this time the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has arranged for 70 policemen to provide security cover to polio vaccinators.
Some 232,454 children under the age of five years will be targeted out of which 118,138 will be vaccinated in the jurisdiction of CDA, while 114,316 children in the jurisdiction of Islamabad Capital Territory will receive polio drops.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Director Health Services Dr Hassan Arooj said only 20 policemen were deputed with polio vaccinators during the previous campaign and some of them had refused to work citing security concerns.
The CDA chairman especially requested the Islamabad Police to increase the number of policemen to escort polio vaccinators.
Meanwhile speaking to The Express Tribune, a senior official at the Prime Minister’s Polio Monitoring Cell, who wished not to be named said, “It has become difficult to carry out anti-polio campaigns in accordance with the National Emergency Action Plan for Polio Eradication 2013 due to security concerns.”
Published in The Express Tribune, February 17th, 2013.
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