SWABI: No anti-polio campaign has been conductedin the district after the outbreak of coronavirus and it seems unlikely that even routine immunisation will start anytime soon, sources in the health department said while talking to this correspondent here on Thursday.

“We left the ongoing campaign in the middle after the outbreak of coronavirus. There is no chance to resume the anti-polio activities in near future,” said a senior health officer on condition of anonymity.

Sources said that the officials and staff were not clear how they would resume activities because of the ongoing coronavirus emergency.

They said that the current year was very challenging for the polio programme. They said whether people would welcome the polio teams like the previous campaigns and open their doors to vaccinators was yet to be seen.

The sources said that extraordinary steps were needed after detection of a high number of polio cases in KP and Sindh. They claimed that during last one year they had reduced the number of refusal cases and planned to eradicate polio in the next few months.

“Our strategy worked in tackling the refusal cases and both health officials and district administration had focused on this task,” said a health official.

When contacted, deputy district health officer Dr Mohammad Tariq said that their target in the last campaign was 288,000 children in the district. Answering a question, he said they had no idea when the anti-polio campaign would be resumed.

LIVESTOCK VACCINATION: The livestock officials said on Thursday that the staff of their department would be deputed at all the main entry and exit points of the district to spray and vaccinate the livestock to protect them from Congo virus and ensure provision of healthy sacrificial cattle to the people.

They were addressing a meeting which was held to discuss the precautionary measures for upcoming Eidul Azha.

“The livestock staff will perform duty at five main routes of the district. They would spray and vaccinate the cattle,” said Dr Habibur Rehman, district director livestock.

Published in Dawn, July 3rd, 2020