PESHAWAR - Three-day oral polio vaccination campaign is starting in tribal districts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa from today (Monday). The anti-polio campaign will continue from December 10 to December 12 under the supervision of District Health Officers, Deputy Commissioners, and security forces, which will be followed by catch up of missed children and surveillance.

Total of 892,471 children, below the age of 5 years, will be vaccinated with only oral polio vaccination in seven tribal districts by 4,058 teams, comprising 3,741 mobile teams, 222 fixed teams and 95 transit teams.  Coordinator EOC Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Tribal Districts Kamran Ahmed Afridi said that “children on the move should be specially focused for polio vaccination as travelling families could become a source of transmitting and spreading polio virus and affect children at the destination.”

He directed transit teams to be vigilant in polio reservoir areas especially the teams located on inter district, inter provincial and international borders.  He said polio virus is still in circulation and directed to ensure vaccination of every child that moves to and from tribal districts. 

He termed decline in the number of polio cases as hard work of front-line polio workers and advised to focus on vaccination in Bajaur and Khyber district during campaign. The coordinator appreciated the distinctive support of Pakistan Army in reaching out far flung and security wise sensitive areas and advised polio teams for special preparation to ensure vaccination of every child especially in South Waziristan and North Waziristan Districts.

This year, three polio cases were reported from tribal districts: two cases from Bajaur and one from Khyber district. Due to timely vaccination, all the three children were saved from paralysis.

Experts termed transmission of polio virus from one area to another as reason for these cases and emphasised the need for stopping transmission of polio virus.