Parents urged to get children vaccinated in every campaign
LAHORE – The Emergency Operations Centre Coordinator Syedah Ramallah Ali has said that due to the polio outbreak in Pakistan, parents need to be extra cautious and vaccinate their children against polio in every campaign.
She stated this during a visit to Rawalpindi’s Saddar area and Railway Station where fixed teams had been deployed to vaccinate children on the move. During the visit, the head of the polio programme went door-to-door with polio teams, acknowledged their work and spoke with parents.
Ramallah said that more than 740,000 children had been vaccinated in Rawalpindi in five days. “The campaign will continue for seven days. Parents need to cooperate with polio teams and vaccinate every child,” she said wihle talking to the parents at doorsteps in Saddar. “At least 39,000 polio workers are participating in the campaign. Due to polio cases, we have to be careful,” she cautioned parents. The EOC coordinator stressed that the government is striving to eradicate polio. “To achieve complete eradication, 100 per cent of children need to be vaccinated in every campaign,” said Ramallah.
The ongoing Sub-National Immunization Days (SNID) is being held in seven districts of Punjab including Lahore, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Dera Ghazi Khan, Bahawalpur, Mianwali and Layyah. In Lahore, Rawalpindi and Faisalabad the campaign will take place for seven days – from June 27 to July 3, with two days dedicated to reaching ‘not available’ children. While in Dera Ghazi Khan, Layyah, Bahawalpur and Mianwali the campaign will be held in selected union councils for five days, also with two days dedicated to reaching Not Available children. This will translate into more than 5 million children under the age of five receiving anti-polio vaccinations.
“Punjab has been free of polio cases since October 2020 while environmental samples have tested negative for Wild Polio Virus since May 2021. Nevertheless, this success will remain fragile unless and until polio is completely eradicated from both Pakistan and Afghanistan,” she added. “In light of the fact that Pakistan suffered new polio cases, Punjab is fully cognizant of its potential impact of on the province and remains committed to eradicating polio,” pledged the Punjab polio programme head. She added that to realize 100 per cent coverage, local communities must understand that polio vaccinations are safe and that parents can trust the programme