Polio vaccination drive continues in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Thu Apr 06 2023
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ISLAMABAD: The second phase of the polio vaccination drive is ongoing in 12 districts of Balochistan and 26 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The campaign aims to vaccinate over 4.12 million children in both provinces during the five-day campaign.

Federal Minister for Health, Abdul Qadir Patel, has urged parents and caregivers to ensure that their children receive the life-saving polio vaccine, which can protect them from the poliovirus that has been found circulating in environmental samples.

The minister highlighted the importance of vaccinating children during Ramadan, as population movements can increase the risk of further spread.

Dr. Shahzad Baig, National Emergency Operations Center, explained that the March campaign had been specifically designed to reach areas where population movement is frequent and expected during Ramadan and Eid festivals.

He added that it is essential to reach as many children as possible with the vaccine now to control polio transmission.

No polio case in Pakistan since September 2022

No human case has been reported since September 2022 in Pakistan when a polio outbreak paralyzed 20 children, all in southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa districts. Wild poliovirus was detected for the first time this year in sewage samples collected from two separate sites in Lahore in January this year.

Two more samples have since tested positive for polio – wild polio was detected in a sample collected from D.I. Khan, and variant poliovirus was detected from Ghotki.

The polio program is making all efforts to ensure the vaccination of children to keep them safe from this highly infectious disease, especially related to positive environmental samples detected in some areas.

The Sehat Tahhafuz Helpline 1166 and around the cloth WhatsApp Helpline 0346-777-65-46 will be available to assist parents and caregivers in reporting missed children and providing related information.

The ongoing polio vaccination drive is critical to protect children from the highly infectious disease, which is still prevalent in some areas of Pakistan. It is essential for parents and caregivers to ensure that their children receive the polio vaccine to prevent the spread of the virus and to help Pakistan achieve its goal of being a polio-free nation.


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