ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Saturday launched the July 2012 anti-polio campaign and vowed to eradicate the crippling disease from the country.

The Prime Minister kicked off the three-day drive from July 16-18 by administering anti-polio vaccine to six children at the Civil Dispensary, Shung. He was accompanied by Minister for Water and Power Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar, Special Assistant to PM on Polio Eradication Begum Shahnaz Wazir Ali ad Chairman of the Pakistan Baitul Maal Zamurrad Khan.

The July 2012 anti-polio drive will target over 34 million children across the country, with particular focus on 5.12 million minors in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

The Prime Minister said that he was personally monitoring the implementation of augmented emergency response action to control polio. He said the federal government had recently released an amount of Rs 35.15 million for strengthening Union Councils' Polio Eradication Committees at the rate of Rs 10,000 per union council for each campaign.

He mentioned mainstreaming the public representatives in polio eradication campaigns, terming it an effective step by the government. He said the Provincial Assembly's Standing Committee on Health had been declared as a focal body to look after the progress on anti-polio campaign.

He said 16,795 teams would take part to administer oral anti-polio drops to children in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Prime Minister Ashraf said the government was aware of the reported cases of polio in some parts of the country and added that special steps had been taken to vaccinate the children in FATA. He said extraordinary measures were on cards to address the challenge of inaccessible areas in the Khyber Agency.