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LAHORE, May 8: Punjab Health Director General Dr Tanvir Ahmed has claimed the target set for the nine-day anti-measles campaign has been achieved in Lahore.

Talking to the media on the conclusion of the anti-measles campaign at his office on Wednesday, he said health teams had administered anti-measles vaccine to an estimated 2,604,372 children between six months and ten years age and the coverage remained 98 per cent of the targeted population.

Representative of Unicef, World Health Organization, Gates Foundation and EPI Prof Dr Tariq Bhutta, Dr Babar Alam, Dr Mushtaq Rana and Dr Aslam Chaudhry were present on the occasion, besides Lahore EDO (Health) Dr Zulfiqar Ali.

Dr Tanvir said third-party evaluation of the anti-measles campaign in Lahore would be carried out through the WHO.

He said after administration of the vaccine, it takes 2-3 weeks to create immunity against the measles among the children. He claimed the measles cases in Lahore would be reduced considerably by the end of May.

He said the campaign in the most-affected 12 other districts of Punjab would be launched during June for which vaccine was being procured through Unicef and Punjab government had approved more than Rs450 million for this.

The health DG said the anti-measles campaign would also be launched in the remaining districts of Punjab during the next phase. He said the recent virus attack had affected Lahore badly, causing a large number of measles cases and deaths in the provincial capital.

He said as per experts’ advice, it was decided to immediate ly launch a campaign in Lahore. He said the routine coverage under EPI programme should be made more effective for complete elimination of the diseases for which parents’ cooperation was a must.