Nationwide anti-polio drive kicks off
Islamabad: The very first nationwide polio vaccination campaign for the year 2019 has started today all over Pakistan.
During this campaign, a total of 260,000 workers are participating and they will go door to door in every towns of provinces to ensure more than 39 million children under the age of five received two drops of the vaccine in order to protect them from the virus.
In 2018, 12 cases of wild poliovirus have been reported in the country including three from Dukki district in Balochistan, one from Charsadda, one from Lakki Marwat in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and one from Gadap, Karachi, one from Khyber and five cases from Bajaur tribal district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
This indicates an overall 97 percent decrease in the number of annual polio cases from the highs of 306 reported in 2014. Despite this significant achievement, the cunning poliovirus has been able to find a way for its survival. During the month of December, sewage water samples collected from Karachi, Peshawar, Bannu, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Killa Abdullah, Pishin and Quetta tested positive for the poliovirus.
Moreover, under the umbrella of the National Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), the entire team of the Pakistan Polio Eradication programme will strive all out to hit the virus hard through this high-quality nationwide immunization campaign.
“We will continue the momentum and address any remaining gaps in order to defeat the poliovirus. it’s very important that parents are committed to protect their children from virus through repeated vaccinations each time drops are offered by our dedicated polio workers during these campaigns,” stated Dr. Rana Muhammad Safdar, the National Coordinator, National Emergency Operations Centre, Pakistan Polio Eradication Initiative.