National polio drive targeting over 45.8m kids kicks off 

Press Release 02:26 PM, 25 Feb, 2024
National polio drive targeting over 45.8m kids kicks off 

ISLAMABAD: Reaffirming Pakistan's commitment to safeguarding children from the crippling disease, the federal health ministry has launched the second nationwide polio vaccination campaign of the year, targeting over 45.8 million children under the age of five.

The campaign will run from February 26 to March 3 nationwide and from March 2 to March 6 in 33 districts of KP. In addition to polio vaccinations, children will also receive vitamin A supplements to boost their immunity.

Federal Secretary for Health, Iftikhar Ali Shallwani, highlighted the serious consequences of polio, warning of its potential to cause lifelong paralysis in children. He expressed concern over the persistence of the disease due to misinformation about the vaccine and urged parents and caregivers to ensure the well-being of their children by participating in the vaccination campaign.

Shallwani emphasized the convenience of doorstep vaccination services and urged parents to cooperate with vaccinators for the safety of their children. This campaign comes in response to the detection of poliovirus in sewage samples from 19 districts in January, underscoring the ongoing threat posed by the disease.

Dr. Shahzad Baig, National Coordinator for Polio Programme, reiterated its commitment to reaching every child, reducing refusals, and encouraging community engagement. He stressed the importance of consistent vaccination throughout the year to protect vulnerable children from the risk of polio.

“Our primary focus is on the welfare of every child, and we are dedicated to leaving no stone unturned in our efforts to eradicate this disease,” he told a TV news channel.

 During the anti-polio campaign, the children of the families travelling by road transport will also be administered polio vaccine at the entrance points of different cities and towns.