5.712 mln children to be vaccinated in upcoming anti-polio drive


PESHAWAR: As many as 5.712 million children below the age of five years will be given polio vaccine in the upcoming anti-polio drive, whereas, children between the age group of six to 59 weeks will be given vitamin A drops to boost their immune system.

This was disclosed in a meeting held here Friday at Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to review the readiness status of the upcoming National Immunisation Drive (NID), starting from November 20 in all districts of the province.

EOC Coordinator Atif Rehman presided over the meeting while National Expanded Programme for Immunisation (EPI) Director Dr Akram Shah, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) Technical Focal Person Dr Imtiaz Ali Shah, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) team leader Dr Johar, World Health Organisation (WHO) team leader Dr Abdi, and other relevant staff were also present on the occasion.

The meeting was informed that a total of 5.712 million children would be administered anti-polio vaccine in the upcoming campaign, whereas, children between six weeks to 59 weeks would also be administered vitamin A drops to boost their immunity. The campaign would also be carried out in the Afghan camps.

All the micro-plans have been updated and teams have been trained to vaccinate the target children, and security plan had also been made to ensure safe and conducive environment to the teams.

A total of 18,428 teams have been constituted for the campaign, out of which 15,719 were mobile teams, 1,545 fixed teams, 930 transit teams, while 235 roaming teams and 4,088 area in-charges would be monitoring the teams.

Speaking on the occasion, EOC coordinator said that it was the second NID of the low transmission season and was of great importance as low transmission season was the best opportunity to stop virus transmission to wipe out the menace for good.

He reiterated the strong resolve of the government for polio eradication, saying that no complacency or negligence would be tolerated in achieving this vital national goal.

Atif Rehman asked the parents to fulfill their national and religious obligations by vaccinating their children against polio and other preventable diseases to ensure a healthy future for the young generation.

He also thanked KP Health Department Secretary Abid Majeed and partner organisations for their strong support and guidance that helped achieve the phenomenal successes in the fight against polio.

It is pertinent to mention here that the country had recorded five polio cases in the ongoing year, out of which one case each had been recorded from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Balochistan, Gilgit Baltistan and Karachi.