PESHAWAR - In order to eradicate polio from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan Friday inaugurated ‘Sehat Ka Ittehad’ programme.

"In next three months, people will see better changes in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, as the provincial government is working on health, education and other basic issues," he told the media after formally inaugurating the drive.

The campaign will be carried out simultaneously in 12 high-risk districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), two FR Regions and three agencies of Fata with special focus on the children of IDPs and uncovered areas. During this drive, a total of 3.36 million children under five years of age will be vaccinated.

Besides others, KPK Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, provincial ministers Shahram Tarakai, Muhammad Atif and Inayatullah, MPAs, and representatives of WHO and UNICEF also attended the ceremony.

Imran Khan termed the campaign vital for the eradication of poliovirus not only from the province and Fata but the whole country as well. He said the campaign was a joint venture of the provincial and federal governments. He said that despite many political differences both governments were united and fully committed to make it a success story.

"Poliovirus is an issue of our young generation and we will make no political point scoring or compromise on the future of our children; rather, we will work together to effectively solve this problem," Khan maintained. "The provincial government will extend full support to the KPK governor and Pak Army to make the campaign a real success," he added.

The PTI chief said that poliovirus was a matter of grave concern for the whole country. He said if it was not controlled on time, beside other problems, Pakistanis would face great troubles in going abroad for earning livelihood. Responding to a question, he said their previous health programme - Sehat Ka Insaf -was successful and was acknowledged internationally but it was limited to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa only.

Imran Khan said that poliovirus could not be fully eradicated in the province because its proximity to Fata and frequent visits of tribal people to the settled areas and coming of the IDPs, and that is why this time Sehat Ka Ittehad is being carried out in the settled and tribal areas simultaneously.

It was informed that the campaign will be continued till mid of May this year with seven rounds of polio vaccination. This campaign will be carried out in 12 districts of the province, including Peshawar, Charsadda, Nowshera, Mardan,Swabi,Kohat, Karak, Hangu, Bannu, Lakki Marwat, DI Khan and Tank and three agencies of Fata – Khyber, North Waziristan and South Waziristan.