PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has urged the parents to ensure administration of oral polio vaccine to their children to protect them from the crippling childhood ailment.

Flanked by health minister Taimur Khan Jhagra, the chief minister gave polio drops to children at the Police Services Hospital here on Friday to inaugurate the five-day campaign starting from coming Monday.

Health secretary Amer Sultan Tareen, Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) coordinator Asif Raheem, N Stop’s Dr Hafeezullah Khan, Unicef’s Dr Andrew, EOC technical focal person Dr Imtiaz Ali Shah and WHO’s Waheed Kamran were also present on the occasion.

The chief minister said that polio eradication was on top of government’s agenda and any negligence in this regard would not be tolerated as it was a matter of health of the children, according to a statement.

“I appeal to parents to help the government in stamping out the crippling virus from the region and vaccinate their children in every campaign when the teams visit their houses,” Mahmood Khan said.

Mr Tareen said that the recent polio cases from North Waziristan were dangerous for children and their families, but not a setback to the global polio eradication efforts as other countries, including Nigeria – the last country to become polio-free, had also seen wild poliovirus after 30 months of zero cases.

“We are working to contain the virus in the southern districts, including Bannu, Tank, DI Khan, Lakki Marwat and North and South Waziristan, in emergency vaccination campaigns.

The health secretary said that great gains had been made in the fight against polio and every effort would be made by the government to sustain those gains by fixing the remaining gaps.

Published in Dawn, June 25th, 2022

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