MULTAN - District Coordination Officer Mudassar Riaz Malik warned on Saturday that Pakistan would become the only polio infected country in the world in coming years if concerted efforts were not made for the eradication of the crippling virus.

Addressing the participants of a ceremony held on occasion of launching of three-day polio vaccination drive, he declared that he would himself lead polio campaign and carry out its proper monitoring. “It must be an issue of concern for all of us that the World Health Organization has declared India polio-free country while we top the countries with highest number of polio cases in the world for last several years,” he regretted. He said that the sewerage samples taken from different areas of Multan disclosed that the virus still existed in three areas of city which was highly alarming. He said that the kids were the future of the nation and we needed to launch a campaign on war footings to save them from polio attack. He said that he was proud of health teams as no polio case was reported from Multan since 2009. He said that 99 per cent vaccination coverage was proof of the fact that the teams discharged their duties with honesty and dedication.

Earlier, briefing the DCO, EDO Health Dr Shahid Bokhari disclosed that a total of 6.16 lac children below the age of five year would be vaccinated during the three-day drive. He added that 1741 teams had been formed for administering polio drops to the children while a central control room had also been established to monitor the performance of teams. He said that the polio teams would go door to door to vaccinate the children. “Similarly, stalls will be established at all schools, bus and wagon stands, railway stations, airport and other public places to ensure vaccination of 100 percent children,” he added. He said that special arrangements would be made to administer the drops to the residents of flood-hit areas.