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QUETTA: Extra efforts should be made to convince parents to let health teams vaccinate their children against polio, said Quetta’s Commissioner Amjad Ali Khan on Wednesday while discussing refusal cases at a meeting of the divisional task force for polio.

He added that in the next vaccination drive, which would kick off on Sept 17 (Sunday), no children under the age of five should be missed and “any child who was left out before should be inoculate in this time”.

Chairing the meeting, Mr Khan said a special committee of representatives of the United Nations Children’s Fund, World Health Organisation and health officials should be set up in order to convince parents to get their children vaccinated.

“Fighting this crippling disease is our national duty,” he said, adding that no negligence would be tolerated. The commissioner also directed the authorities concerned to take legal action against the individuals and groups creating problems for the anti-polio campaigns.

Chief Coordinator of the Emergency Operation Centre Syed Faisal Ahmed, N-Stop’s Dr Aftab Kakar, the deputy commissioners of Quetta, Qilla Abdullah, Chagai and Pishin were also present at the meeting with other health officials.

Mr Khan told all deputy commissioners that their teams should focus on the children who had not been vaccinated against poliovirus. “They must be inoculated first,” he added.

Faisal Ahmed briefed the commissioner about special measures taken for the polio drives. “In August, we took water samples from Quetta, Pishin and Qilla Abdullah to see if the poliovirus was present and fortunately the report was negative,” he said.

Published in Dawn, September 14th, 2017