Anti-polio drive begins across country from today

A boy receives polio vaccine drops during an anti-immunisation campaign in a low-income neighbourhood in Karachi on April 9, 2018. — Reuters
  • Over 100,000 trained and dedicated “Sehat muhafiz” will be engaged in vaccination drive. 
  • “We are actually quite close to the finish line,” says Qadir Patel. 
  • Anti-polio campaign requires collective action at all levels, says Shahzad Baig.  

The government is set to launch the first national immunisation drive of the year 2023 from Monday (today) to vaccinate children under five years of age against polio across the country.

Over 100,000 trained and dedicated “Sehat muhafiz” will be engaged in the vaccination drive to inoculate the targeted children at their doorstep, according to official sources.

Federal Minister for National Health Services Abdul Qadir Patel said that If we could eliminate the poliovirus from southern KP, we would succeed in eliminating polio from Pakistan altogether.

He added that they “are actually quite close to the finish line and they are determined” to get there as soon as possible.

“Pakistan has made great strides in the fight against polio, with virus circulation, reduced to only one small part of the country,” he also said.

On his part, National Emergency Operation Centre Coordinator Dr Shahzad Baig emphasised that the anti-polio campaign required collective action at all levels to eradicate the poliovirus from the country completely.

He said their aim “is to ensure timely and repeated vaccination” of eligible children. “High-risk districts are our top priority, and we are keen to eliminate the poliovirus from the challenging areas while protecting the rest of the region as well.”

He added, “I particularly urge all parents and caregivers to get their children vaccinated instead of hiding them or refusing to take the necessary drops during all vaccination drives. It is important to realise that the polio virus still exists in our surroundings, and no child is safe until all children are truly vaccinated,” Baig said.

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