GHALANAI, Jan 19: The health authorities in Mohmand Agency postponed the scheduled polio campaign starting from Jan 21 to cope with the measles outbreak which claimed lives of three more children in Haleemzai tehsil on Saturday.
On the directives of political agent Amir Ali Khan, the health authorities have started taking urgent steps to arrest the measles epidemic, which has so far killed over a dozen children and affected scores of others in last two weeks in the militancy-plagued Mohmand tribal region.
Residents said that the children who died of measles on Saturday included one-year-old daughter of Tahir Mohammad of Babikhel, five-year-old daughter of Wali Mohmmad and two-year-old daughter of Nasim Khan of Barokhel, while several others seriously affected children had been hospitalised.
They said that scores of children were affected as the measles broke out in various villages of Haleemzai, sub-district of Mohmand Agency. The residents complained that lack of medicines and other facilities at the health centres caused the deaths.
Anti-measles vaccination campaign has been launched in the agency headquarters’ hospital in Ghalanai, which was inaugurated by agency surgeon Dr Dawood. The surgeon said that over 40 teams had been sent to the affected areas in Haleemzai to administer anti-measles vaccine to children in the age bracket of nine months to 10 years.
Dr Dawood claimed that so far over 10,000 children had been vaccinated in different localities of the tribal agency.
He said that in this connection anti-polio campaign scheduled to be started from Jan 21 had been postponed for the time being so as to focus on protecting maximum children from measles.