Polio drive to begin in 11 districts today

Updated 10 Nov 2014

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A policeman escorts health workers of a polio vaccination team during a immunisation campaign in Quetta. — AFP file photo
A policeman escorts health workers of a polio vaccination team during a immunisation campaign in Quetta. — AFP file photo

QUETTA: A three-day polio campaign will start in parts of Balochistan on Monday during which around 238,000 children under the age of five will be administered polio drops.

The areas where the drive will be launched include the districts of Quetta, Pishin, Qila Saifullah, Qila Abdullah, Loralai, Zhob, Sherani, Musakhel, Nasirabad and Jaffarabad and Hub tehsil of Lasbela district.

Balochistan Chief Secretary Saifullah Chattha, at a meeting of district health officers here on Sunday, warned of stern action against officials found neglectful of their duty during the campaign.

The meeting reviewed arrangements for the campaign and decided that district health officers would supervise the drive in their areas.

The chief secretary took notice of the absence of some district health officers and said that such negligence would not be tolerated.

He said it was unfortunate that 10 polio cases had been reported from Quetta, Qila Abdullah and Zhob over the past three months though it was expected earlier that Balochistan would be declared a polio-free province.

The parents of polio victims had refused to get their children vaccinated, official sources said.

“We have to ascertain causes for the emergence of new polio cases to rid Balochistan of poliovirus,” Mr Chattha said.

Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch had asked provincial ministers, parliamentarians, local bodies’ representatives and religious scholars to play a role in eradicating polio, he said.

Published in Dawn, November 10th, 2014