MULTAN - Keeping in view the swelling number of polio cases reported during 2011, the European countries have declared Pakistan a high-risk territory for the spread of this disease. A recent health report discloses that the European countries have warned Pakistan of outbreak of polio, if it failed to adopt immediate measures to control polio.

It may not be out of place to mention here that 197 polio cases have so far been reported in 2001. The number is double than the cases reported last year, leaving a question mark on the performance of health department. Out of total, as many as nine polio cases were traced from Punjab while rest of all from other provinces.

Meanwhile, the local health department has declared schedule for polio vaccination drive, saying it will run between January 30 and February 1. Chairing a meeting held to review arrangements for upcoming campaign, district officer coordination Nausheen Jamshed directed all departments to fully cooperate with health officials for making the campaign a complete success. She warned that no negligence would be tolerated in polio drive.

She asked the health officials to make foolproof arrangements for launching of a successful drive. She urged upon the public to cooperate with polio teams and get their children vaccinated. “This is the only way we can eliminate this disease from our country,” she added. She assured health officials that the district administration would fully cooperate with them. She further asked clerics and other opinion leaders to play their role for making the drive successful.

Earlier, briefing the participants of meeting, EDO Health Dr Mukhtar Hussain told that 6.16 lac children would be vaccinated during this campaign. He added that 1741 teams had been formed for administering polio drops to the children while a central control room had also been established to monitor the performance of teams. He said that the polio teams would go door to door to vaccinate the children. “Similarly, stalls will be established at all schools, bus and wagon stands, railway stations, airport and other public places to ensure vaccination of 100 percent children,” he added. He said that special arrangements would be made to administer the drops to the residents of flood-hit areas.