PESHAWAR, Dec 24: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has planned to administer anti-polio drops to the children, who recently missed out on the immunisation campaign in the province after the killing of health workers, before the end of the current month.

“We are considering covering the children, who remained unvaccinated from Dec 17 to Dec 19 due to suspension of the anti-polio campaign, from Dec 28. This will protect them against the crippling disease,” provincial chief secretary Ghulam Dastagir Akhtar told reporters here at the Health Secretariat after a high-level meeting on Monday.

The secretary, however, said the schedule for the campaign would be finalised shortly.

He said the campaign designed in view of the threats to health workers would be carried out with the community support.

The secretary said the next vaccination campaign in the province, which had reported 25 fresh polio cases this year, had been planned for January.

The meeting was by member of National Task Force against Polio MNA Asma Arbab Alamgir, Senator Rubina Khalid, provincial home and tribal affairs secretary Azam Khan, provincial police chief Akbar Khan Hoti, information and culture secretary Azmat Hanif Orakzai, health secretary Ashfaq Khan, all divisional commissioners and district coordination officers, and representatives of Unicef and WHO.

Also in the day, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Masood Kausar reiterated the government’s commitment to eradicating polio from the province and Fata by the end of next year.

He was chairing a meeting on immunisation campaigns in the province and Fata.

According to a handout issued here, the governor said the community should be informed about the benefit of vaccination of children against polio.

He said by and large, the people in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata had been fully cooperating with the government agencies in fight against polio.

The governor issued directions to the relevant authorities to provide foolproof security to vaccinators for the vaccination of targeted children in future.

The participants appreciated the support of religious leaders, politicians and elders across the country, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata, to the vaccination campaigns.

Officials informed them that the government had secured a loan from Islamic Development Bank through WHO and Unicef to meet the polio eradication expenditure.


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