Polio vaccination drive to commence from July 20, Covid-19 SOPs to be strictly followed: SAPM Zafar Mirza
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza on Saturday said Pakistan will be resuming the anti-polio vaccination drive in specific parts of the country from July 20.
In a tweet, Mirza said the campaign against polio was being reactivated as the situation on the Covid-19 front had started to show improvement.
He added that the vaccination teams will be following all the standard operation procedures to ensure social distancing in light of Covid-19 and that all measures will be taken to ensure safety during the anti-polio drive.
The latest push comes after a four-month suspension of vaccination activities because of restrictions on account of Covid-19.
At this time, door-to-door campaigns will be carried out in selected districts and the drive will also be utilised for creating awareness about Covid-19 preventive measures and antenatal care services for mothers and children.
The areas to be covered in this round are Faisalabad, Attock, South Waziristan, and parts of Karachi and Quetta with a target to vaccinate almost 800,000 children under the age of five.
Pakistan is one of two polio-endemic countries in the world with Islamabad currently facing a challenging situation with an upsurge in cases. In the current year so far, a total of 59 cases of wild polio virus have been reported, including 21 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 20 from Sindh, 14 from Balochistan and four from Punjab.
Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by the poliovirus mainly affecting children under the age of 10 years. It invades the nervous system, and can cause paralysis or even death. While there is no cure for polio, vaccination is the most effective way to protect children from this crippling disease. Each time children under the age of five are vaccinated, their protection against the virus is increased. Repeated immunisations have protected millions of children from polio, allowing almost all countries in the world to become polio free.