Anti-polio campaign to start tomorrow across Pakistan to innoculate 40mn children

Anti-polio campaign to start tomorrow across Pakistan to innoculate 40mn children

ISLAMABAD – Anti-polio campaign across Pakistan will be carried out from January 16 in which over 40 million children would be administered polio vaccination.

The fifth most populous country will start the inoculation drive as Pakistan is facing a recent outbreak in northwestern tribal regions bordering Afghanistan.

Reports in local media said the federal government has completed consultations with all regions on the nationwide anti-polio campaign, which will be carried out in two phases.

The first phase will continue from January 16 to January 20, and the second phase will continue by the end of January. Meanwhile, children in the age group of 6 to 59 months will also get Vitamin A for an immunity boost.

The campaign will vaccinate 20.42 million children in Punjab, 9.35 million children in Sindh, and 6.9 million in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In Balochistan 2.53 million children, and 0.35mn in Gilgit-Baltistan will be vaccinated against the contagious virus disease.

Around 335,387 front-line workers will take part in the national anti-polio campaign.

The drive was launched amid rising polio cases in the country. In the ongoing year, more than 20 cases of the contagious disease were reported in North Waziristan. Earlier, National Polio Lab detected the child-crippling disease virus in sewage water samples collected from five cities, including Peshawar, Swat, Rawalpindi, Bannu, and South Waziristan.

Polio is a highly infectious and debilitating disease that is usually spread through contaminated water or food. Invading the nervous system, the disease can cause total paralysis within hours.

The contagious virus thrived in the borderlands between Pakistan and Afghanistan where militants attacked and even killed anti-polio teams.