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Polio campaign in Balochistan starts tomorrow

March 19, 2017

QUETTA: A three-day polio drive will kick off on March 20 across 29 districts of Balochistan to ensure that each and every child in the province is vaccinated against the crippling disease, said Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) Balochistan Coordinator Syed Faisal Ahmed.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday along with religious scholars, he said that the campaign would cover all districts except Ziarat — where arrangements had been made to hold the anti-polio drive after March 27.

He added that security arrangements for the campaign had been finalised.

Discussing their strategy, Mr Ahmed said that they planned on inoculating more than two million children under the age of five.

He said that during the campaign, around 9,532 teams will be in the field with 8,079 mobile teams, 810 fixed sites and 643 transit points.

“In 2016, two polio cases were reported in Quetta and Chaman,” he said, adding that the poliovirus was still present in Quetta and Qilla Abdulla and Pishin, “we are worried that the virus could affect the children in these districts”.

According to the coordinator, religious scholars will create awareness among the residents of the districts where the virus was present.

He said they would not leave any stones unturned and would provide the polio drops to every child in Balochistan.

He added that in the past several villages and towns across the province had several refusal cases but this had decreased over the years.

Other speakers at the press conference said that in Quetta, only 3,000 children had yet to be vaccinated.

Published in Dawn, March 19th, 2017