New polio case found; campaign in Quetta postponed

Published March 17, 2015
The campaign scheduled for Quetta was postponed because of security concerns, however continued in 29 other districts.—AFP/File
The campaign scheduled for Quetta was postponed because of security concerns, however continued in 29 other districts.—AFP/File

QUETTA: The polio eradication campaign scheduled for Quetta was postponed on Monday because of security concerns amid detection of a fresh polio case in the province.

However, the campaign continued unhindered in 29 of 32 districts in Balochistan amid tight security.

The officials of Emergency Operation Cell (EOC) said that poliovirus type-one was confirmed in a three-month-old baby boy identified as Abdul Rehman Achakzai, a resident of Pashtoonabad area in Quetta.

Also read: Polio vaccination campaign put off in three districts

“It is the third polio case detected in Balochistan in 2015 and 23rd in the country,” a senior official of EOC said, adding that the boy infected with the virus had received six doses of vaccination drops.

Earlier, the majority of polio cases were reported in Qila Abdullah, Pishin, Loralai and Qila Saifullah districts. “Quetta, Qila Abdullah and Pishin are high-risk areas of Balochistan,” sources said.

However, the scheduled polio eradication campaign again could not kick off in the Quetta district due to inadequate security arrangements.

“Required number of security personnel was not available to provide security cover to the vaccination staff,” officials said, adding that the campaign was postponed for security reasons. “We cannot compromise on the security of health workers,” a senior official of the Health Department said.

“Majority of police and other law-enforcement agencies were on the security duties in connection with the sports festival and players taking part in the sports events,” sources said.

They, however, said that campaign was continuing in 29 districts of the province amid tight security. During three days campaign over two million children would be administered polio drops.

Published in Dawn March 17th , 2015

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