ISLAMABAD: For boosting children’s immunity against poliovirus, a special targeted campaign has been organised

in parts of Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) beginning on Monday.

The polio drive which is focused on inoculating over one million children, under the age of five, will use the Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) and the injectable Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV).

So far, the only polio case reported from Pakistan has come from Balochistan’s Dukki district. This has prompted the National Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) to initiate a special campaign in 12 districts of Balochistan’s Sibi and Zhob division from Monday to Wednesday.

These districts cover Barkhan, Dera Bugti, Dukki, Harnai, Kohlu, Qila Saifullah, Loralai, Musakhel, Sharani, Sibi, Zhob and Ziarat. The OPV will be administered during a door-to-door campaign in all these areas to vaccinate a targeted 418,200 minors.

The IPV campaign will be carried out from April 23 to April 30 in FR Peshawar, Mohmand, and Khyber agencies of Fata targeting over 208,215 children under the age of five.

The campaign will also be launched in Peshawar and Qila Abdullah district during which another 400,000 children will be given anti-polio injections at designated health facilities in the area.

Dr Rana Mohammad Safdar, the national coordinator for polio eradication, has appealed to parents and communities to cooperate with the health workers and help secure the future generations of Pakistan from the crippling disease.

Type of vaccines

The OPV contains live but weak strains of the polio virus produces antibodies in the blood to all three types of poliovirus and in the event of an infection, this protects the child against paralysis by preventing the spread of the virus to the nervous system. The IPV, which is made of dead viruses, also increases immunity in the child.

Published in Dawn, April 23rd, 2018

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