QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Secretary Shakeel Qadir Khan has warned that action will be taken against officers concerned if vaccination coverage during the seven-day anti polio campaign, starting on Monday, is found to be low in any district.

The warning was given at a meeting of the provincial task force for polio eradication on Friday.

The meeting, presided over by the chief secretary, was attended by World Health Organisation (WHO) representatives, Health Secretary Abdullah Khan, Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) Coordinator Syed Zahid Shah, divisional commissioners and deputy commissioners, district health officers and military officials.

The chief secretary said polio eradication was Balochistan government’s top priority and therefore the vaccination campaign is of the utmost importance.

Officials warned of legal action in case of low vaccination coverage in any district

All available resources are being utilised for the complete eradication of polio and every child up to the age of five “must be protected from this disease”.

Special attention should be given to transit points so that no child misses the vaccine, Mr Khan said.

He added that persuading reluctant parents to participate in the campaign was crucial for polio eradication.

“An active role of scholars, tribal elders and influencers is also important for campaign’s success.” he said, and added that parents are responsible to ensure vaccination of their children.

The meeting was told that over 11,000 teams would administer polio drops to more than 2.65 million children across the province during the drive.

Additionally, children would also be administered Vitamin A drops.

The chief secretary directed that all teams participating in the polio campaign should be provided with adequate security. He said the government was determined to continue the efforts to fight polio till its eradication despite all challenges.

Published in Dawn, February 24th, 2024

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