LAHORE : Provincial Minister for Primary  and Secondary Healthcare Khawaja Imran Nazir has said that protecting children from polio is a joint responsibility of both the government and parents.

While inaugurating the anti-polio drive here at Mian Mir Hospital, he said that if a child could not get polio drops for any reason, parents should take them to the nearest Health facility for administering polio vaccine. He said Polio vaccine was safer than every vaccine that was still providing effective protection to children, so parents should get vaccinated their children without  any fear.

Imran Nazir said the 3rd anti-polio drive of this year would continue till April 13. He said that 44,000 polio teams, each team comprising two members had been constituted, which would visit door to door in every union council for administering polio drops to the children under five years of age across the province. He reiterated that in this campaign, about 19 million children would be vaccinated and children from six months to 59 months would also be given Vitamin A capsules to boost their immunity system. He further said the Punjab government was committed  to eliminate polio virus during 2018.

Director General Health Services and Punjab's Emergency  Operation Coordinator Dr Munir Ahmed said due to recent polio  case in Daki tehsil of Balochistan, special attention would  be paid for administering polio drops to children travelling with their families to south Punjab districts from the adjacent areas of Balochistan.

Dr Munir said that parents may contact helpline 0800-99000 if polio teams did not turn up. Confirming the administration of Vitamin-A capsules, the EOC Coordinator said the Vitamin-A was an essential ingredient for normal functioning of immune system as well as normal growth, while its deficiency increased  the risk of childhood morbidity and mortality.

Punjab has had no polio case in 2016 but with the beginning of 2017 a child was paralyzed by the virus in Lodhran, leaving the family devastated.

Deputy Commissioner Lahore Sumair Ahmed Syed, Lord Mayor Col (r), Mubasher Javed and CEO Health, Dr Shahnaz Naseem, were also present.