PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has said that he is optimistic about eradication of the crippling poliovirus from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa given the declining number of the affected children in the provinceiduring the past few years.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the three-day sub-national polio immunisation campaign at Hazarkhwani locality here on Monday, he renewed government’s commitment to do away with the vaccine-preventable childhood ailments through quality vaccination.
The chief minister launched the drive from the endemic union council of the provincial capital which along with 17 other UCs has been recording poliovirus. He urged the local MPA to fully support the teams to be able to safeguard all children against the disease.
Pakistan is nearing the target of polio-free country and we must speed up efforts to reach to every child below five years of age for their lifelong safety, he said.
Says province is to be made free of fatal disease
KP has registered one polio case this year so far compared to 68 children testing positive for polio in 2014.
Mahmood Khan said the province had established Emergency Operation Centre as part of escalated efforts to ensure that the children got vaccinated and stayed safe from disability in future.
Polio focal person Babar Bin Atta, MPA Fazal Illahi, representatives of UN agencies and officials of health department were also present, according to a handout.
In Bajaur tribal district, the health department has included female health workers in the anti-polio campaign launched on Monday.
Sources told Dawn that at least 30 female workers had been included in the anti-polio squad, for the first time in Bajaur since 2012.
They said the decision was made at a meeting of senior officials of health department and the district administration a few days ago.
Representatives of WHO, Unicef and others donor agencies had also attended the meeting, stressing the need for inclusion of female health workers in the anti-polio drive, they said.
Meanwhile, a health official said female workers had been included in the ant-polio teams on the directives of the WHO officials. Health officials said a total of 232,000 children would be vaccinated in the anti-polio drive across the district.
In Nowshera, the district administration called upon the parents to extend support to polio vaccination teams to help achieve the target.
“Various polio vaccination teams have been formed to vaccinate children under five years of age in Nowshera,” deputy commissioner Abdul Hameed Khan said while inaugurating the campaign at the district headquarters hospital.
He said the vaccination teams would visit door-to-door along with mobile teams at bus stands, bazaars, parks and other public places to ensure vaccination of every child.
In Chitral, the anti-polio drive was kicked off with a function at the health department offices.
EPI district coordinator Dr Fayaz Roomi told the participants that 550 mobile teams would vaccinate 73,606 children, while they would be monitored by 117 area monitors. Twenty monitoring officers would supervise the campaign at the union council level, he maintained.
He said nine transit points had been formed at the bus stands and the airport to vaccinate the children, adding 36 fixed centres had been set up across the district.
He said after the three-day campaign, a catch-up day would be observed for those children who had been missed during the campaign.
Mr Roomi said due to snowfall, the campaign would not be held in Baroghil valley.
Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2018