Almost 100pc children inoculated against polio: ministry

Updated December 22, 2019

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Catch-up polio vaccination campaign will continue to cover missed children in the core reservoirs of Karachi, Peshawar, Khyber, Quetta, Pishin and Qilla Abdullah on Sunday. — AP/File
Catch-up polio vaccination campaign will continue to cover missed children in the core reservoirs of Karachi, Peshawar, Khyber, Quetta, Pishin and Qilla Abdullah on Sunday. — AP/File

ISLAMABAD: The involvement of leaders from major political parties in the recent countrywide polio drive seems to have paid off as according to a statement released by the Ministry of National Health Services the Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme has succeeded in vaccinating 99 per cent children, it claimed on Saturday.

"The campaign achieving [its] desired objectives and its success would set the tone in turning [the] tide against the crippling virus that paralysed 111 children in Pakistan during 2019," stated Dr Zafar Mirza, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health.

Giving credit to "different segments of society", the statement further said that "according to the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) [that even] though the data from remote union councils in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is yet to be added, the valiant front-line polio workers have successfully vaccinated almost 39.1 million [99pc] of the targeted [39.6] million children across Pakistan during the four-day campaign."

NEOC National Coordinator Dr Rana Safdar, who was reassigned last month to lead the country’s fight back against the resurgence of the virus, said he was greatly encouraged by the progress of the campaign so far.

"Our engagement with communities and efforts in tackling negative propaganda are bearing fruit as we [are] observing parents [who are] responsibly immunising their children to keep them protected against polio," he stated.

Meanwhile, catch-up polio vaccination campaign will continue to cover missed children in the core reservoirs of Karachi, Peshawar, Khyber, Quetta, Pishin and Qilla Abdullah on Sunday (today), it stated.

Published in Dawn, December 22nd, 2019