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A health worker gives a polio vaccine to a girl in Lahore, Pakistan, Monday, April 9, 2018. A Pakistani official said authorities launched a new polio vaccination drive, aiming to reach 38.7 million children under the age of 5. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary) — Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Govt launches polio drive aiming to vaccinate 38.7m children across country

Pakistan is one of few countries where polio is still endemic, along with Afghanistan and Nigeria.
Published Apr 09, 2018 06:46pm

A government official on Monday said authorities have launched a new polio vaccination drive, aiming to reach 38.7 million children under the age of five. Pakistan is one of few countries where polio is still endemic, along with Afghanistan and Nigeria.

Dr Rana Mohammad Safdar, the national coordinator for polio eradication, says that some 260,000 polio workers will take part in the campaign, which started on Monday.

He says authorities hope a similar campaign will soon be launched in the tribal regions.

Polio workers and their police escorts often come under attack by militants. The attacks stepped up after it was revealed that a CIA fake hepatitis vaccination campaign was used as a ruse to find Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. The al-Qaida leader was killed by US commandos in 2011.

A health worker administers polio vaccine to a child at a school in Karachi. —AFP
A health worker administers polio vaccine to a child at a school in Karachi. —AFP

A health worker administers polio vaccine drops to a child at a school during a polio vaccination campaign in Karachi. —AFP
A health worker administers polio vaccine drops to a child at a school during a polio vaccination campaign in Karachi. —AFP

Authorities have launched a new polio vaccination drive, aiming to reach 38.7 million children under the age of five. —AP
Authorities have launched a new polio vaccination drive, aiming to reach 38.7 million children under the age of five. —AP

Pakistan is one of only two countries in the world where polio remains endemic. —AFP
Pakistan is one of only two countries in the world where polio remains endemic. —AFP