ISLAMABAD: A five-day nationwide polio vaccination campaign kicked off on Monday during which over 39 million children under five years of age will be vaccinated across the country.
According to the Polio Eradication Programme (PEI), around 285,000 health workers will go from house to house, observing strict guidelines for coronavirus such as wearing a mask, using hand sanitiser and maintaining the minimum distance advised during the campaign.
“While continuing our efforts to enhance essential immunisation coverages, the back-to-back planned immunisation campaigns are imperative to give quick immunity boost to children under the age of five,” said National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) Coordinator Dr Rana Mohammad Safdar.
“We need to ensure that no child is missed during this critical national immunisation campaign aimed to build on successful immunity building efforts during [the] last three months. I urge every Pakistani to take it as a national mission and support the frontline workers who will reach every child with essential polio vaccine during the week.”
“All segments of society, including communities, media, religious leaders, social activists, celebrities and doctors, should play [an] active role so that no child remains at risk of contracting polio disease and becoming paralysed for life,” he added.
The campaign has been planned in coordination with Afghanistan. Pakistan is one of the two polio-endemic countries in the world along with its neighbour. The country is facing a challenging situation in polio eradication with the upsurge of the number of polio cases. So far in the current year, a total of 82 polio cases have been reported, including 24 from Balochistan, 22 each from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Sindh, and 14 from Punjab.