Coordinated drives against polio to help stop virus flow | Pakistan Today

Coordinated drives against polio to help stop virus flow

  • Health secretary inaugurates special IPV campaign at Lady Reading Hospital

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Secretary Abid Majeed has said that the government has decided to hold coordinated anti-polio campaigns with Afghanistan to help stop virus circulation in the region which was of the same origin.

He said that Pakistan and Afghanistan were on the same epidemiological block and the decision to conduct sameday campaigns with Afghanistan will not minimise chances of missed children who were on the move but will also address the issue of virus transmission in the region.

He said this while inaugurating special Inactivated Polio Vaccination (IPV) campaign here at the Lady Reading Hospital. Present on the occasion were EOC Coordinator Atif Rehman, EPI Coordinator Dr Shafiq, Deputy DHO Dr Ikhtiyar Ali, LRH Director Dr Khalid Masood, Pediatric Association representative Dr Sabir Khan, UNICEF team leader and Dr Imtiaz Ali Shah.

The health secretary said that the special IPV campaign would continue in Peshawar from April 23 to April 30, 2018 wherein more than two million children will be vaccinated with IPV whereas oral polio vaccine will also be given to children to safeguard them against polio and stop virus circulation in the district.

He said that polio transmission has been stopped using the same IPV and OPV combination in the world and “we are doing the same here.” In reply to a query regarding hand shake intervention, Abid Majeed said that teams from both Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA shake hands in the morning and start vaccination in their respective areas to ensure that no child was missed in the bordering areas between the settled and the tribal belt.

Speaking on the occasion, EOC coordinator Atif Rehman said that polio eradication was the high priority of the government and IPV campaign was part of the efforts to stop virus transmission in the region. He said that IPV campaign will start from April 23 and will continue till April 30, 2018 during which 236531 children will be immunised with Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) between the age group of 4 to 23 months whereas children from zero to 23 months will also be given OPV shots.

He said that the vaccination would be carried out at the already identified outreach sites and trained teams will also visit houses to ensure inoculation of target children. He said that special security measures have been taken to ensure security to teams and more than 2000 polio personnel would be deployed at various points for the IPV campaign.

Abid Majeed said that IPV strengthens immunity of children but OPV was still required for polio eradication and the routine campaigns will therefore continue in the province until the virus transmission stops. PPA representative Dr Sabir Khan shed light on the significance of IPV, saying that it was injectable vaccine which was safe and builds individual immunity of a child that protects him from lifelong paralysis.

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