Saudi crown prince visit delays anti-polio drive in garrison city by one day


RAWALPINDI: District Health Authority (DHA) Anti Polio Drive In-charge Chaudhry Muhammad Hussain on Monday said that the five-day anti-polio campaign, scheduled to start from February 18, was postponed for a day due to the visit of Saudi Crown Prince to Pakistan.

Talking to APP, he said that there were some hurdles in reaching some sensitive areas in the garrison city due to the visit.

He said the anti-polio campaign now would be launched from February 19 in Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation (RMC), cantonments and areas where the environmental water samples tested positive for poliovirus for last eight months, consecutively.

Hussain said that around 2,000 polio teams including 1,500 mobile teams, 217 fixed points, 90 transit points, 187 union council medical officers and 400 area in-charges would administer polio drops to above 740,000 children less than five years in Tehsil Rawalpindi, Taxila, GujarKhan, Rawalpindi city and Rawalpindi/ Chaklala Cantonments Boards areas.

He said authority had recently successfully completed the drive-in entire district on January 27, while continued environmental samples tested positive for poliovirus since May 2018 compelled the authority to start the campaign again.

He informed that with the coordinated efforts of government and World Health Organisation WHO, polio workers had been trained to accomplish the target set of vaccinating children below five years of age.

He urged the citizens, particularly the parents, to come forward and play their role for the elimination of the crippling disease from society.

“The parents should cooperate with the special teams so that the set target could be achieved,” he said and added that continuous efforts were being made to control polio.

“Special teams had also been formed to cover areas from where complaints about unattended children were registered,” he said.

The polio campaign in-charge said that no polio case had been detected in Rawalpindi, adding polio was a national issue and it was the responsibility of all to play an effective role to make the country polio-free.