3-day anti-polio drive kicks off in KP, FATA and Balochistan

An Afghan child looks on as a health worker administers polio vaccine on the second day of a vaccination campaign in Kabul on March 15, 2010. A three-day nationwide polio eradication signature project is a joint initiative implemented by the Public Health Ministry, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organiztion (WHO). Afghanistan is one of only of a handful of countries in the world that still has the crippling polio virus with new cases reported every year. UPI/Hossein Fatemi

ISLAMABAD: A three-day anti-polio campaign began in selected areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Frontier Regions and Balochistan on Monday.

According to KP Health Directorate, the campaign had been launched in Lakki Marwat, Dera Ismail Khan, Karak, Tank, Bannu and Hangu districts of the province, in addition to South Waziristan Agency and the Frontier Regions.

During the campaign, more than one million children up to five years of age would be administered anti-polio drops by different teams comprising of polio workers and security personnel.

In Balochistan, the anti-polio drive was also launched in Quetta, Barkhan, Jaffarabad, Naseerabad, Qilla Saifullah, Loralai, Zhob, Dera Bugti, Kohlu and Sherani districts.

Talking to reporters, Polio Emergency Operation Centre Provincial Coordinator Syed Faisal Ahmed said that during the drive, more than 600,000 children below the age of five would be administered anti-polio vaccine. Special security measures have been taken to avoid any untoward incident from happening during the campaign since polio workers have remained soft targets for militant attacks in the past, who believed that polio campaigns were un-Islamic.