PESHAWAR - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Governor, Barrister Masood Kausar has highly eulogised the devoted and courageous role and services of polio eradication teams and said keeping in view the severe consequences of the fatal disease, they should take it a mission to reach each and every child so as to protect his future.

He said the vaccination process in this regard was very easy and simple.

The womenfolk, he added, bore much responsibility because of their accessibility to children and the role they had in taking care of children.

He said there was a need for observing a complete polio eradication week both in the province and Fata to ensure that not a single child was deprived of the vaccination facility.

Inaugurating the three-day National Immunisation Campaign for polio eradication starting from Monday (April 23) at the Institute of Child Health Care at Hayatabad, Peshawar on Friday, the governor said, “though the reported polio cases during the current year are comparatively less than the figures came to limelight in 2011, yet we fully acknowledge the concern being expressed by not only the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan but the international community as well and we expect a more active and efficient role of the public opinion circles especially the media in making the efforts more meaningful. “We will also fully encourage them in making their efforts fully useful,” he said. 

The governor formally inaugurated the campaign by administering polio drops to some children at the ceremony wherein the health authorities of the province and Fata while highlighting their targets said that in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 4.93 million children have been targeted to be vaccinated while in Fata more than one million children will be administered polio drops for which a total of 19,974 polio teams including 3,366 meant for Fata have been mobilised.

Referring to the seriousness of the government towards making the campaign fully result oriented, the governor said they have even gone to an extent to remove senior most health officials at the district levels and the steps taken against certain agency surgeons is a visible proof of this reality. “Performance in polio eradication campaign has been made compulsory part of the annual evaluation reports of the respective government officials and at the same time we will also ensure due recognition of their achievements,” he remarked. 

“We as a nation, being numbered among a couple of counties across the world because of existence of the diseases, which beyond doubt, is a matter of grave concern and it is a big responsibility on part of all of us to get rid of this stigma,” he added. “Prevention is better than treatment and in this particular case, this phrase carries much more importance,” the governor said.

The governor also mentioned the miserably low literacy rate particularly in Fata as an expected hurdle in fully eradicating the polio virus and said that it is incumbent upon the educated citizens to share knowledge, they have with those who deserve for it and keeping in view the simple way of vaccination, deprivation of any child to be benefited will indeed must be a matter of grave despondency and discouraging for all learned and educated citizens of the motherland.

Earlier, the respective health authorities of the province as well as Fata further detailed that among the polio teams of the province 1,581 are stationed at fixed and 783 are placed at transit points while in Fata, 274 fixed points and 101 transit routes have been manned with fully equipped with extra quantities of vaccines to make the campaign a real success.

The ceremony was largely attended by chief executives of teaching hospitals, health professionals especially the lady team leaders of polio vaccination teams.