PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government will extend its health programme Sehat Ka Insaf to the entire province from April 21 after elimination of polio virus in Peshawar, according to officials.
They said that Sehat Ka Insaf planned a ‘full throttle’ to provide oral rehydration salt or soap to children.
The hygiene was significant part of the drive to ensure prevention of avoidable diseases by adopting precautionary measures, they added.
Officials said that full throttle of the programme would start from next Sunday to target 845,000 children in 25 districts and five frontier regions.
Peshawar, declared as world polio virus reservoir by World Health Organisation, entered the third round of vaccination drive of the total 12 planned by the government under Sehat Ka Insaf every Sunday.
The drive, aimed at eradicating nine child-related diseases including polio, would be run in low-risk areas of Peshawar like Hayatabad, University Town and Cantonment from next Sunday.
The parents in about 97 other union councils will receive invitation for immunisation of their children.
The three union councils, where the authorities had to put off the activity, will be covered any day this week.
“Our plan will succeed because we are focusing on Peshawar, which is evidently responsible for transportation of virus to Afghanistan and other parts of the country,” officials said.
They said that the crippling disease could be eliminated if they reached all the nine million targeted children in Peshawar repeatedly.
“In today’s campaign 5,777 policemen provided security to 8,000 volunteers, who distributed invitation cards among people for immunisation of the targeted 210,000 children,” officials said.
They said that health department had set up 67 centres where the children possessing invitation cards would receive free vaccination.
They said that averagely 500,000 children were being targeted in each round of the campaign repeatedly.
Children would also get vaccinated at the 18 basic health units, they added.
The Sehat Ka Insaf initiative of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf has widely been acclaimed by the UN agencies.
The widely publicised drive also aims at strengthening routine immunisation along with administration of oral polio vaccine to children.
Younas Zaheer Mohmand, the focal person of the programme, said that Insaf Change Force was playing leading role in materialisation of the PTI’s plan to save children from diseases.
He also appreciated the PTI’s Tabdeeli Razakar Force for its support.
He said that the immunisation programme was being run by local people in accordance with local traditions.
“The programme has received social acceptability because people realise that it is totally owned by the government to safeguard our children from diseases,” Mr Mohmand said.
Peshawar, which recorded five of the 10 polio cases registered in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa last year, was under international spotlight due to which PTI chairman Imran Khan announced to spearhead the campaign, he said.
Peshawar recorded case out of the total 14 countrywide in 2014. The authorities said that the case was registered before the lunch of Sehat Ka Insaf.