KHYBER: Polio vaccination at Torkham border was restarted after six months of suspension due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Health officials said that they also held a ‘face-to-face’ meeting with their Afghan counterparts after almost a year break on Thursday and discussed ways and means to help each other to eradicate poliovirus from the bordering regions of both the neighbouring countries.
Dr Imtiaz Ali, a health official from Pakistan side, told Dawn that Technical Advisory Groups of both countries were supposed to hold meeting every six months under the international protocols but that time their meeting was delayed due to closure of border for almost a year to check the transmission of coronavirus from across the border.
He, however, said that health officials were in contact with each other through video conferences almost every month to share updates about any progress made about controlling poliovirus.
“We keep a constant vigil on the eastern region (Nangrahar province) of Afghanistan side and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan and try to support and assist each other in eradicating the polio menace,” said the official.
He said that initially all transporters along with pedestrians crossing the border on every Saturday would be vaccinated against polio.
Dr. Imtiaz said that full-fledged vaccination would be restarted once the visa restrictions were lifted and cross-border movement of ordinary people from both sides was restored.
Published in Dawn, September 11th, 2020