WHO acknowledges Pakistan’s efforts to eradicate polio

Published February 27, 2022
WHO Representative in Pakistan Dr Palitha Mahipala administers polio drops to a child to launch the first nationwide polio campaign of the year at Cantonment Hospital, Rawalpindi on Saturday. — WHO Pakistan Twitter
WHO Representative in Pakistan Dr Palitha Mahipala administers polio drops to a child to launch the first nationwide polio campaign of the year at Cantonment Hospital, Rawalpindi on Saturday. — WHO Pakistan Twitter

RAWALPINDI: Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) Dr Palitha Mahipala on Saturday acknowledged Pakistan’s efforts to eradicate polio in the country.

Talking to mediapersons after inaugurating the four-day polio vaccination drive at Cantonment General Hospital (CGH), he said: “Effective measures had been taken in Pakistan to eradicate the polio and due to this, not a single polio case has been reported in Pakistan last year.”

The anti-polio drive will formally be launched from Monday (Feb 28).

Deputy Commissioner Tahir Farooq, District Health Officer Dr. Ehsan Ghani, Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) Cantonment Executive Officer Imran Gulzar also spoke to mediapersons.

Asks families to cooperate with teams during four-day campaign

Palita Mahipala appreciated the role of the front line polio workers and urged the parents to get their children vaccinated against polio and extend cooperation to the polio vaccinators as every family should inoculate all its children of up to five years of age against the crippling disease.

“We want to see Pakistan as a polio free country,” he said and added that due to the team efforts and response of the people, the country would soon become a polio free country.

Deputy Commissioner Tahir Farooq said that a four-day polio campaign was launched in last week of January and different areas of Rawalpindi cantonment and its surrounding areas were covered. He informed the newsmen that this four-day campaign would cover the entire Rawalpindi region.

He said no polio case was reported in Punjab during the last 14 months and only one case was reported in the remote area of Balochistan.

RCB Cantonment Executive Officer Imran Gulzar said the polio campaign was launched here under Pakistan’s Expanded Programme on Immunisation with an aim to make Pakistan a polio-free country.

He expressed the hope that the target to make Pakistan a polio free country would be achieved as all-out efforts were being made and polio drops were being administered to all the children. District Health Officer Dr Ehsan Ghani said that a five-day anti-polio campaign in the district will start from February 28 to administer vaccination to more than 740,000 children of less than five years.

He said from April 2021, all the environmental samples in Rawalpindi district were negative due to effective vaccination campaign.

He saidthat 4,046 polio teams would go door-to-door and administer polio drops to children of less than five years in seven tehsils of the district during the campaign.

He said 307 teams would administer anti-polio drops to children at fixed sites while 147 teams would perform their duties in different areas like bus stands, railway stations and others. He said that the district administration would ensure the security of the teams while it would help the teams to convince the people about vaccination.

He said as per Covid-19 standard operating procedures, the vaccinators would wear face masks and use sanitisers.

Published in Dawn, February 27th, 2022

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