Lahore : The five-day national polio eradication drive will start all over Punjab from Monday (January 15).
“The Punjab government wants to build immunity of every child before the polio high-risk season starts in May this year”. “Reaching and vaccinating every child is absolutely critical in order to ensure that no more child suffers from the incurable disease”.
Secretary Primary and Secondary Healthcare Ali Jan Khan said province will be implementing the first campaign of 2018 more aggressively with focus on Rawalpindi, Lahore and South Punjab. “We are implementing this national drive with a resolve to eradicate polio in 2018”, he added.
Punjab’s Emergency Operation Coordinator Dr. Munir Ahmed said Pakistan is very close to eradicating polio and keeping polio cases down to one in two years in Punjab is a great feat. “But we will not relax until polio is eradicated”, he resolved.
The provincial emergency operations centre has constituted over 44 thousand teams who will go door to door to vaccinate over 18.5 million under-five children all over the province, he said.
They include teams constituted for house-to-house visits, conducting vaccination at major bus stands, inter-provincial borders, airports, railway stations as well as hospitals the EOC coordinator added.
Dr. Munir said parents may contact helpline 0800-99000 if polio teams do not turn up in their areas. Punjab has had no polio case in 2016 but with the beginning of 2017 a child was paralysed by the virus in Lodhran, leaving the family devastated.
Eight polio cases have been reported in 2017: one from Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan respectively, while Sindh recorded two and Balochistan 3 cases respectively.
No polio case was reported from FATA in the last year.