MANSEHRA, April 24: The surveillance officer of the United Nations in Mansehra, Dr Qamar Zaman, has said that only four confirmed cases of polio have been reported in the first quarter of the current year in the country as compared to eight cases in the corresponding period last year.

This; he said, was a big achievement and there was hope that this deadly disease would be completely eradicated very soon as Pakistan is passing through the make or break phase in its polio eradication campaign.

He was briefing newsmen in his office here on Sunday.

Giving the break-up of the polio cases, he said that two cases of polio were reported in Multan, one in Sanghar and one in Peshawar. He said that no polio case was reported in Hazara division in the first quarter of 2005.

He said though a polio case was reported in Mansehra district last year and it was added in the list of the high-risk districts for polio but due to anti-polio campaign and surveillance system in the district no polio case was reported in Mansehra this year, “as children below five were vulnerable to polio.

He asked all segments of the society, especially parents, to extend their full-cooperation and support to anti-polio drive teams.

Pakistan would be declared a polio-free country with strong cooperation and support of the society in the polio-eradication campaign, he said.

Appreciating the work done by the district health department in the polio eradication campaigns, he said that they had achieved 90 per cent target so far as the four snow-bound points including Narain 1 and 2, Mahandery and Kaghan were closed due to landslides.

He said if these snow-bound areas were opened for the traffic then the target of the 251,247 children would be achieved in the up-coming polio eradication campaign which falls on April 26 to 28 in the district. To achieve the said target around 602 mobile and 66 fixed polio teams have been constituted in the district.—PPI

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