4-days anti-polio campaign to start on Monday

QUETTA:Coordinator Emergency Operation Centre (CEO) Balochistan, Rashid Razzaq on Thursday said that a four-day anti-polio drive to be initiated from February 17, in 33 districts of province including provincial capital Quetta, as 2.5 million children aged 5 years would be administrated vaccine.

He expressed these views while addressing a press conference at the EOC Office, saying that the difficulties have been increased due to negative propaganda in last year and urged the scholars and parents that they must support the polio workers during campaign.

The World Health Organisation Dr. Thomsgin, Dr. Masood Jogizai and Maulana Anwarul Haq Haqqani were also present on the occasion.

Rashid Razzaq said more than 24, 57000 children would be administrated the polio drops during the campaign in 33 districts of Balochistan.

“Around 10,554 teams will take part in the campaign, including 8,949 mobile teams, 955 fixed sites and 591 transit points, he said and added that unfortunately Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only countries in the world where polio virus still exists.

He stated one case of polio virus has been reported in Balochistan this year while the previous In Balochistan, 12 cases were described.

“It is a matter of great concern that polio virus is still present in Balochistan today. There is still the possibility of infection to the children with polio in three districts of Quetta, Pishin and Qila Abdullah,” Rashid Razzaq said.

He further said that the polio campaign, which was being launched, was of utmost importance, with special focus being placed on transit points to prevent the spread of the polio virus.

Rashid said community health volunteers needed to make the campaign a success and vaccinate every child, saying we were also seeking of the help of scholars, tribal leaders and trustees to improve the process.

He urged the media, the public and every citizen play their vital role to make the polio campaign successfully, adding the polio drops was the only vaccine which could save the children from the fatal virus.

“All security arrangements have been completed with regard to the anti-polio campaign, as Balochistan Levies, police personnel and FC will provide additional security,” he said while answering journalists’ questions.

He said that the problems have been increased due to negative propaganda last year and the number of cases has also increased due to the large number of people not letting their children to administrate polio vaccine.

“At present, the number of refusing parents in the provincial capital of Quetta is close to 5,000, and around 8,000 across Balochistan”,he said and added that instead of negligent parents, more attention is being paid to the children. There is a lack of awareness which requires more attention,” he said.