First anti-polio drive of the year from tomorrow

LAHORE   –  The Sub-National Immunisation Drive (SNID) against polio will be started from January 24 (Monday) in nine districts of Punjab.

Districts included in the campaign are: Lahore, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Multan, Muzaffargarh, RY Khan, DG Khan, Rajanpur and Mianwali.

In Mianwali, the campaign will be launched in selected union councils. It will be a five-day campaign including two days allocated for catch up to reach the children missed previously. More than 6.9 million children, under five years of age, will be reached for vaccination during the five-day campaign which will continue till January 28.

More than 60,000 polio workers will participate in the campaign including area-in-charges, district and union council supervisors, mobile team, fixed team members and transit team members.

The Provincial Emergency Operations Centre has deployed experts from all areas to facilitate preparedness and implementation of campaign activities by the local teams in priority areas.

All frontline polio workers have been thoroughly trained on Covid-19 SOPs, protocols, and preventive measures to be followed during household and field visits during vaccination, as well as have been fully equipped with PPEs.

“Government’s leadership and polio teams’ hard work has given fruitful results. Punjab has not reported any polio case for over 14 months now,” said Ms Sundas Irshad, head of the polio programme in Punjab.

“Environmental samples also indicate a promising epidemiological outlook for polio eradication in Pakistan, particularly in Punjab. All environmental samples in Punjab are negative for the last seven months,” the head of the polio programme added.

“Reaching and sustaining zero polio cases and transmission requires even greater efforts. Therefore, the programme must continue to focus on implementing high-quality campaigns that reach all children under five years of age,” the polio programme head pledged.

The Punjab polio eradication programme head appealed to parents and caregivers to cooperate with the polio teams for the safe future of their children.

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