Anti-polio drive to begin on September 26 in Balochistan

QUETTA:A seven-day anti-polio drive will kick off in five districts of Balochistan on September 26 (Monday) during which 0.885 million children till the age of five will be vaccinated.

“The anti-polio campaign will be launched in all union councils of Quetta, Pishin, Chaman and Qilla Abdullah districts while drive against the crippling virus will cover children in eight union councils of Zhob district,” Coordinator of Balochistan Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) Hamidullah Nasar said on Friday.

The representatives of UNICEF, WHO and BMGF were also present on the occasion.

Talking to the media persons here, the EOC coordinator said all arrangements had been finalized to launch the campaign in the high-risk areas of the province.

“Around 3,680 teams have been constituted who will administer polio drops to the children till the age of five,” he added.

It may be mentioned here that no case of polio virus has been reported in Balochistan for the last 17 months.

However, the EOC Coordinator feared “the presence of polio virus in other areas of the country and in Afghanistan is a huge challenge for the province of Balochistan.

He called upon the parents to cooperate with the polio workers during the polio prevention campaign.

“Due to the unflinching support from all segments of the society, the spread of polio virus has effectively been controlled,” he said.

He termed the role of the religious scholars imperative for complete eradication of polio from the country.

It may be recalled that as many as 19 polio cases have been reported in Pakistan this year.

Regarding the security of the polio teams, Mr Hameedullah Nasar said fool-proof security would be provided to them.

“The law enforcement agencies, including Frontier Corps, Balochistan Levies, and Police will be deployed to ensure security to the visiting polio teams,” he maintained.