PESHAWAR - All is set to launch a three-day National Immunisation Campaign in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata today, wherein 6.1 million children under five years of age would be vaccinated.

Deputy Director EPI, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Dr Jan Baz Afridi told APP on

Sunday that government has completed all arrangements for successful holding of a three-day anti-polio campaign across the province, Federally Administered Tribal Areas including Afghan refugees’ camps from Monday (April 23-25). He said 5.1 million children below five years of age would be given Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while about one million kids would get the same facility in FATA.

To achieve the said target, the official said 16,600 teams for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 3000 for Fata have been formed that will reach door to door and house to hours to make Pakistan Polio free country.

These teams would be assisted by area in-charges and Lady Health Workers (LHWs) and officials of Health Department. In case of non-arrival of the teams, he held an appeal to parents and guardians to bring their children to nearest hospitals and BHUs for vaccination.

To a question, he said Peshawar, Charsadda, Nowshera, Mardan, Lakki Marwat, DI Khan, Tank, Kohat and Fata are still vulnerable and high risk areas, adding four polio cases were detected in KP and six from Fata this year. The polio cases are reported from Peshawar, Kohat, Lakki Marwat and DI Khan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while five from Khyber Agency and one from North Waziristan Agency.

The official said there was significantly decrease in refusal cases owing to effective advocacy campaigns and holding of vigorous immunisation drives. After India obtained polio-free status, the World Health Organisation and other donors’ agencies are giving top focus now on three endemic countries ie Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria to eradicate this disease completely.

Dr Jan Baz said polio was crippling disease that could only be eradicated by making joint efforts and supporting each others for this national obligation. He expressed the hope that polio would soon be eradicated from the country with the support of all segments of society.

He lauded the EPI staff for their improved performance and reaching out to all children. Dr Jan Baz said the reward and punishment system has been introduced and officials with good performance are being rewarded.

The official said DCOs and Political Agents have been directed to supervise and monitors the campaigns on grounds so that no child could be deprived of OPV that only way forward to defeat this menace.

Dr Jan Baz held out an appeal to parents to vaccinate their children against polio and protect them from permanent disability and urged upon media and religious scholars to support the national cause and play its constructive role in raising awareness among the masses about polio that could be protected merely by administering two drops to their children.