LAHORE - The Punjab Health Department will focus South Punjab in three-day anti-polio campaign starting from September 14 as part of National Immunization Day, said Director General Health Services Punjab Dr Zahid Pervaiz on Saturday.

The campaign in Multan, Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffargarh and Rajanpur will be specially monitored due to positive environmental sample in Multan. Punjab is holding Polio NID after three months and a detailed progress review on pre-campaign preparations especially micro plans have already been undertaken with the districts in the EDOs meeting on September 8.

Dr Zahid Pervaiz said that Pakistan has been spotlight for polio and efforts were underway for making the country polio free. He said with commitment from the highest political leadership, the province has seen increase in routine immunization coverage, reaching 70 per cent. He asked the health department officials to work with dedication to eradicate polio from Pakistan.

Director EPI Dr Munir Ahmed said the campaign would target over 17 million children of below five years of age in 35111 union councils of the province.

He said mobile and transit teams have been constituted in the province. He said that progress of districts would not be gauged with their reported coverage but with the number of not available and zero dose children. He urged the EDOs to ensure follow up of poorly covered and missed areas along with proper evening meetings of teams. He said that Punjab is the first province in the country eying zero polio free year.

Punjab accounted for four cases from a total of 306 in 2014. In 2015, Punjab has been polio free so far.

The province faces a major challenge of migrant population from other provinces. Special transit points have been set up on bordering districts for immunization of children.