PESHAWAR (92 News) – The three-day anti-polio campaign started in 27 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) on Monday.
According to the Provincial Health Department, more than four million children below the age of five will be administered anti-polio drops during the campaign.
According to the details garnered, Pakistan’s efforts to eradicate the polio virus were dealt yet another blow on as three more cases were confirmed in KP and two in Sindh. The officials confirmed three new cases in Hangu, North Waziristan and Bannu in KP, and two cases in Hyderabad and Sindh.
The total number of polio cases in Pakistan this year now stands at 58. Of these 58 cases, a total of 44 have been reported in KP and, alarmingly, 32 of the province’s polio cases have been confirmed in Bannu Division.
The confirmation of the new cases comes just a day before immunisation campaigns are to commence in KP, Balochistan, Punjab and Sindh.
In KP, vaccinators will cover 26 districts while seven districts have been marked out for a special immunisation campaign in Balochistan.
Pakistan is one of just three countries in the world, along with Afghanistan and Nigeria, that have endemic polio, a once-common childhood virus that can cause paralysis or death.
The country’s success follows an intense programme based around vaccinating vulnerable children.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO),
polio has been all but wiped out across the world following a sustained vaccination campaign, with only 22 cases reported in 2017 against more than 350,000 in 1988.
PM asks federal, provincial govt to launch effective anti-polio drive
Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan has expressed grave concern over the increasing polio cases,
ordering the federal and provincial government to launch an effective anti-polio drive.
He chaired a high level meeting. Imran Khan stated that polio eradication is the top most priority of the government as it affects the future generation.
The prime minister stressed the need for a robust partnership between Ehsaas and polio eradication program for synergized implementation of the two vital programs.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Army assured full support to polio teams in their efforts to reach out to the children in far-flung areas of the country.