KHYBER AGENCY - The anti-polio campaign earlier scheduled on March 17 was postponed till March 24 due to non-payment of dues to vaccinators, an official of health department said on Saturday.

Sharing details, Dr Wazir Akber of health department said the arrears of last six campaigns have not been paid to polio vaccinators in Jamrud and Landi kotal tehsils and this is the reason why the anti-polio drive was rescheduled on March 24. He hoped the drive against polio disease would be carried out on March 24.

He said the polio workers would immunise 1,24,000 children against poliovirus below five years of age in various parts of Khyber Agency tribal region.

He clarified that the polio drive was not suspended owing to law and order condition but it was delayed due to non-payment of arrears to polio workers.

It is worthy to mention here that polio workers staged protest demonstration against officials of health department for not paying them dues and also refused to take part in drive.

SEHAT KA INSAF IN HIGH-RISK AREAS NEXT MONTH: Staff Reporter from Peshawar adds: While launching the seven phase of Sehat Ka Insaf Programme, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Health Shuakat Yousafzai said that the programme will also be started in high-risk areas of Peshawar from April 06.

Due to security concerns, the minister said the special vaccination drive was not being carried out in Sheikh Mohammadi, Suleman Khel, Matani, Mariamzai, and other adjacent localities. "The drive will be started next month against nine childhood diseases," the minister said while inaugurating the seventh round of Sehat Ka Insaf Programme by administrating polio drops to children at the Islamia College Peshawar on Saturday.

Stringent security steps were taken to avert any untoward incident during the special vaccination drive. The district administration also completely banned ridding of motorcycles and police erected blockade on main road around interior city to avoid entrance of vehicles into Peshawar areas.

More than 3,000 teams, comprising PTI volunteers, health workers and teachers carried out the seventh round of Sehat Ka Insaf programme in Peshawar. Nearly 1,250 health hygiene kits, containing of toilet, soap, and other cleanliness pots were distributed among families in 95 union councils of the district.

The vaccinators also distributed awareness pamphlets and brochures regarding various childhood diseases.

The minister said they have set a target of immunise polio drops along with other eight childhood diseases to more than 15,000 children below age of five years in high-risk areas of Peshawar. He informed that the provincial health department had vaccinated over 6,00,000 children during the seventh round of Sehat Ka Insaf Programme in 95 union councils of Peshawar.

He said that earlier the Peshawar has considered as hub of polio. However, he said after the successful immunisation drive, the WHO officials took few sample from Shaheen Muslim town in Peshawar, which was declared negative. After the completion of three-month drive in Peshawar, the minister said the Sehat Ka Insaf program would also b launched in Mardan and other parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.