A health official administers polio drops to a child in Rawalpindi’s Ratta Amral area on Monday during a campaign against the crippling disease. — White Star
A health official administers polio drops to a child in Rawalpindi’s Ratta Amral area on Monday during a campaign against the crippling disease. — White Star

TAXILA: A total of 297,783 children, under the age of five, will be administered polio drops across Attock district during the five-day polio eradication campaign which began on Monday.

Children will be given additional doses of vitamin-A to boost their immunity.

Deputy Commissioner Dr Imran Hamid Sheikh formally kicked off the campaign by administering polio drops to a child at the District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital. Officials of the local administration, health department and volunteers were also present on this occasion.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Mr Sheikhstressed on the need for complete coverage during the vaccination campaign so that population immunity in the district could be achieved, especially in rural areas. Pakistan besides Afghanistan is one of the only two countries in the world with poliovirus.

In order to make the campaign successful, teams of the health department will have to fulfill their responsibilities with national spirit and ensure that no child is deprived of the polio vaccine, he said, adding fingers of all children who were administered the vaccine should be marked besides doors of houses they live in so the campaign can be monitored.

Briefing participants, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) District Health Authority Dr Jawaad Ellahi said 1,602 polio teams will participate in the campaign in six different tehsils of the district, including 233 area-in-charges, 90 union council supervisors, 1436 mobile team members, 126 fixed team members and over 40 transit team members.

Members of these teams will be given the necessary protective gear against Covid-19 and will be following all World Health Organisation (WHO) protocols to keep themselves and others safe.

He said all frontline polio workers have been thoroughly taught about Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs). “The declining trend of reported polio cases and negative environmental samples indicate a positive epidemiological outlook for polio eradication in the district,” Dr Ellahi added.

Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2021

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