Five-day polio vaccination campaign in KP to start from Monday

PESHAWAR: A five-day polio vaccination drive would start in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from Monday, said Provincial Minister for Health, Taimoor Khan Jhagra.

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday along with Secretary Health, Yahya Akhunzada and Coordinator Emergency Operation Center (EOC) KP, Abdul Basit, Health Minister said the vaccination campaign would cover 6.8 million children in the whole province including merged districts.

During the campaign around 62,586 polio workers would take part to constitute 1300 Transit teams, 1849 fixed teams and 24900 mobile teams.

The objective of the campaign was to cover each and every child for vaccination in the province as in the last campaign about 78,000 children were missed.

Giving a break-up of the total figure, EOC KP, Abdul Basit said out of 78,000 children, 40,000 were refusals and 38000 were missing at the time of vaccination.

In regard to martyrdom of two female polio workers during the last campaign in Swabi district, Health Minister said government has increased security of the vaccinators to ensure their safety. Each team will be guarded by a security guard, he continued.

He said the option of involving national volunteers for the cause of security of polio vaccinators was also under consideration.

Jhagra also disclosed that compensation amount for slain female polio workers has been dispatched to concerned Deputy Commissioner for handing over to families.

He said an amount of Rs 4.4 million was released for each martyred worker out of which Rs 3.3 million was death compensation and Rs 1.1 million was for arranging residential facility.

He also informed that stipend for polio workers was also increased to Rs 1000 per day during vaccination campaign.

Health Minister also requested media to dispel the impression developed against polio vaccination ensuing in refusals by parents for vaccination of their children.

He said Pakistan and Afghanistan were the only two countries in the world where polio virus exists and its elimination could only be ensured through cooperation and support of masses.

Our Health teams and security forces are rendering great sacrifices for eradication of polio but without peoples’ support this goal cannot be achieved, he remarked.