QUETTA: Over 1.3 million children below the age of five will be vaccinated against the polio virus during a three-day anti-polio campaign in Balochistan starting Monday.
Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) Balochistan Coordinator Dr. Saifur Rehman said the campaign will target 12 districts of the province, including high-risk areas.
Dr Rehman said that 395 fixed and 210 transit points have been established where 3,619 polio workers will vaccinate over 1.3m children.
In order to curb transmission of the virus at transit points, the EOC Balochistan is focusing on the Pak-Afghan Friendship Gate where children under the age of 10 will be administered the vaccine, he said.
Due to by-polls in the Jhal Magsi district, the anti-polio campaign in the area targeting 31,000 children has been postponed until May 3. However, the polio drive will commence “as per the announced dates” in Qilla Saifullah, Qilla Abdullah, Naseerabad, Jaffarabad, Pishin, Loralai, Dera Bugti, Lasbela, Sherani, Quetta, Zhob and other parts of the province, Dr Rehman said.
Frontier Corps and Army men have been deployed in sensitive areas of the province for the duration of the drive, the EOC in-charge said.
The Injectable Polio Vaccine (IPV) programme has been successful in the province, particularly in high-risk districts, where over 240,000 children were injected against the crippling virus, he said.
He urged the media and religious scholars to play a vital role in the elimination of polio by encouraging parents to allow administration of the vaccine to their children.
Unicef Polio Team Lead Dr. Jawahir Habib said the struggle against the virus will continue unless the disease is completely wiped-out from the province. “Only a single polio case has emerged in the province this year which proves that Balochistan is moving ahead in the battle against polio.”
Courtesy : Dawn News