Polio vaccination campaign in affected districts starts today
Peshawar: In response to polio cases recently reported from Torghur and Shangla, three days polio case response vaccination campaign will be conducted from July 15 to 17, 2019 in affected and surrounding districts of Hazara and Malakand Division. Children missed during the campaign will be vaccinated on the fourth – catch up day of the campaign.
The campaign will be conducted under the supervision of Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners, and District Health Officers with security support of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police and law enforcing agencies.
A total of 614590 children will be vaccinated by 2657 well trained polio teams, comprising 2342 mobile teams, 208 fixed teams, 86 transit teams and 21 roaming teams with 641 area incharge deployed to oversee and monitor vaccination at local level.
The number of polio cases have soared to 33 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 41 in the country during 2019, so far. Main reasons of increase in polio cases has been routine-immunization-zero-dosed children and refusing parents which leaves children vulnerable to the attack of wild polio virus and helps virus to circulate in the region.
First case response campaign was successfully carried out in June, whereas, to completely put an end to this outbreak, three case response campaigns have been decided including the one, which will be carried in the days to come.
Coordinator EOC Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Capt. (R) Kamran Ahmed Afridi said, “case response campaign successfully conducted in June 2019 has put a hold to polio cases since no case reported with onset date after the completion of June case response campaign”.
He added that “this case response campaign is also crucial for stopping the outbreak and transmission of polio virus as well as saving children from paralysis in the upcoming days”.
Kamran Ahmed Afridi said that “it has been witnessed time and again that parents believing in propaganda and lies against vaccination, refusing anti polio drops or leave their children zero dose for essential immunization has faced the unfortunate incident of polio case at their homes. Therefore, my appeal to parents/caregivers is to fulfill their responsibilities and administer anti-polio drops to their children when polio teams knock on their door”.
He said, “oral polio vaccines are the safest and effective vaccine and it is the way to secure our children against polio disease and eradicate polio virus”.
He advised EOC KP Team to reach and vaccinate every child during campaign as wild poliovirus is still circulating in the region which could attack any unimmunized child.
Age appropriate vaccination maximizes the benefits of immunization if the parents follow the essential immunization schedule offered in all of their nearby health facilities against 10 vaccine preventable diseases including tuberculosis, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis and measles.