PESHAWAR: With a view to stop virus transmission and stamp out polio from the region synchronized anti-polio campaign is successfully underway in 17 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Afghanistan. According to a press release issued here on Wednesday, the three -day anti-polio drive was successfully kicked off on May 7, 2018 in selected districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa including Afghan Refugees camps to vaccinate 4.458 million children under the age of five out of more than three million were covered so far while the campaign was on to cover the remaining children.
Coordinator EOC KP Atif Rehman while chairing a meeting here at EOC said that same virus was circulating in Pakistan and Afghanistan and coordinated anti-polio campaigns were therefore carried out on both sides of the border.
He said that the decision to this effect was taken in a joint meeting of the two countries held last month in Abu- Dhabi and hoped that better coordination between two neighboring countries will help address the lingering issue and rid the region of the menace.
Rehman paid rich tributes to sehat muhafiz who were braving many challenge in the field to vaccinate the children saying that the success achieved in polio eradication were not possible without the diehard efforts of the teams.
Atif Rehman said that since 2014 there has been an overall 97% reduction in polio cases in Pakistan: from 306 cases in 2014 to 8 in 2017 while this year one polio case has been reported.
He said that government was trying hard to address any remaining gaps to achieve high population immunity in core poliovirus reservoirs and high risk areas.
Regarding vaccine, he assured that polio vaccine is safe, efficacious, and approved by the Government’s drug regulatory authority adding that the same vaccine has been used to eradicate polio in almost every country in the world.
It is pertinent to mention here that 11902 total teams have been constituted for the campaign out of which 1072 were fixed teams, 788 transit teams, 264 roaming teams whereas 3080 area incharges will monitor quality of the campaign.
Moreover, strict security measures were taken and more than 22000 police personnel were deployed on sensitive and plugging points in Peshawar, Charsadda, Mardan, Nowshera, Swabi, Bannu, Chitral, D.I.khan, Hangu, Karak, Kohat, Lakki Marwat, Malakand, Swat, Tank, Dir Upper, Dir Lower to ensure safe and secure environment to the teams.