ISLAMABAD: More than 40 million children under five years of age received vaccination during the second nationwide polio reduction campaign of the year.

The campaign was conducted from March 29 to April 2 in Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and from April 11 to 15 in Balochistan.

During the campaign, more than 285,000 Sehat Tahafuz frontline workers visited families and caregivers going house-to-house and ensured vaccination of children against the crippling poliovirus.

“While we focus on vaccines for new diseases, such as Covid-19, there remains a need to ensure routine vaccinations are not missed. We know many children have missed vaccination and it is critical to accept vaccines every time they are offered by the teams,” Special Assis­tant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr Faisal Sultan said.

“Polio workers are our real heroes who made this critical campaign successful and achieved 100 per cent results amid third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country,” he said.

Coordinator of the Nati­onal Emergency Operations Centre, Polio Eradication Initiative Dr Shahzad Baig said a great reduction had been witnessed in the number of polio cases since January 2021.

“Only one wild polio case has been reported in Pakistan over the past four months. It is a result of tremendous efforts and hard work of our teams. The support of parents, community leaders, security forces, media and religious leaders helped our frontline workers reach children in need and it is highly commendable,” he added.

Published in Dawn, April 22nd, 2021

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