2.2m children in Balochistan to be vaccinated in 3 days
15 October, 2012
QUETTA: A three-day anti-polio campaign will kick off today (Monday) across Balochistan, covering 30 districts.
At least 2,234,425 children below the age of five years will be administered anti-polio vaccine during the drive, for which the government has formed 6,095 teams – comprising health workers and volunteers – to ensure 100 percent coverage. At least three polio cases were reported in Quetta in during the current year.
Addressing a press conference, the focal person of the anti-polio campaign, Dr Ghafar Lashari, said that polio is a dangerous virus that has been driven out of almost all countries.
"Unfortunately, Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan are among those few countries where polio virus has not been fully eradicated despite the strenuous efforts of the respective governments and international donor agencies," he said. He revealed that since last year, as many as 198 polio cases had been reported in Pakistan – and 73 from Balochistan alone – "but this year, only three cases have surfaced in the provincial capital".
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Abdul Wahab from the World Health Organisation (WHO) said that teachers, notable persons and religious scholars should sensitise parents about the crippling nature of the disease. "Educated segments of society should play their role and coordinate with health teams, and get the children vaccinated against polio," he said.
A walk had also been organised in the metropolis to create awareness among the masses regarding the hazards of poliovirus. Moreover, cricket matches and painting exhibitions were also organised in different parts of the provincial capital other districts of Balochistan in this regard, in which a large number of people participated and expressed their strongest resolve to make Balochistan polio-free.