ISLAMABAD: A five-day campaign against polio will be launched on Monday across the country during which more than 16.5 million children under the age of five will be vaccinated.

The drive will be fully implemented in 36 districts and partially in 30 districts, including Islamabad, 23 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 20 districts of Balochistan, 16 districts of Sindh and six districts of Punjab.

Coordinator to the Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr Malik Mukhtar has called on parents and caregivers to ensure that their children are vaccinated during the campaign.

“Poliovirus has paralysed four children this year and it is consistently being detected in sewage samples, which means the risk to children remains very high,” Dr Mukhtar said, adding that the government is launching the campaign right before Eidul Azha to prevent the virus from moving with people and finding more children to target.

“We are resolved to end polio from our country and the support of parents and communities is critical for us to achieve this goal. This is the fifth polio vaccination campaign of the current year,” he said.

In Balochistan, the drive will be launched in 14 of 20 districts on June 3 and in six other districts on June 8 due to forecast of heatwave. Under the campaign, polio drops will be administered to over 1.8m children, the provincial health secretary said.

Saleem Shahid in Quetta also contributed to this report

Published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2024

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