ISLAMABAD-The nationwide polio vaccination campaign achieved 99 percent results, said Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza on Saturday.

Dr. Mirza said this while updating progress on the ongoing campaign wherein 265,000 frontline polio workers are going door-to-door to ensure vaccination of 39.52 million children under the age of five.

Accordingly to the National Emergency Operations Centre, though the data from remote union councils of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhunkhwa is yet to be added for yesterday, the valiant frontline polio workers have successfully vaccinated almost 39.1 million (99%) of the targeted children across Pakistan in four days of the campaign already.

The catch up activities to cover the missed children shall continue in core reservoirs of Karachi, Peshawar, Khyber, Quetta, Pishin and Killa Abdullah, today and tomorrow. The campaign was inaugurated by the Prime Minister Imran Khan in the federal capital and all chief ministers in respective provinces as a mark of national commitment towards the cause.

The support across political divide as well as all society segments was evident from the campaign launches by top leadership and legislative members from all parties in their respective constituencies.

During the launch event, Prime Minister Imran Khan had remarked, “It is my humble request to all mothers that if you have not been reached by our polio team then you should set out to find polio workers and make sure your kids get the polio drops. Firstly, it is very important for your kids. Secondly, it is very important for our nation. Our polio workers have sacrifices greatly in the past and they are heroes of our country.”

“We are mindful of the serious challenges posed by the virus and its implications on health and economy of the country. We decided to take the Polio eradication forward as a shared priority and with a sense of collective responsibility. A transformation process has accordingly been started that besides de-politicisation of the programme aims to integrate routine immunisation, revive one team approach coupled with a stringent accountability, and broadening partnerships to deliver an integrated package of services to the most deprived communities living in super high risk union councils within the core reservoirs,” stated Dr. Mirza.

We are greatly encouraged by the campaign progress so far, shared Dr. Rana Muhammad Safdar who was reassigned last month to lead the country’s fight back against the raging virus assault.

“Our engagement with communities and efforts to tackle negative propaganda are bearing fruits as we observe parents responsibly immunising their children to keep them protected against polio,” he stated.

Pakistan remains one of the last two countries in the world, alongside Afghanistan, where poliovirus continues to circulate actively.

There is a strong national and international commitment to eradicate it. It is a collective responsibility of every Pakistani to ensure all children are protected against the poliovirus.

The Pakistan Polio Eradication Initiative has also initiated “Sehat Tahhafuz Helpline” to assist the reporting of missed children during the national immunisation campaign. The parents and caregivers are encouraged to contact “Sehat Tahhafuz Helpline” at 1166 and register their concerns regarding the missed children.