Lahore - As many as 19.4 million children of up to the five years of age would be administered polio drops during the six-day long anti-polio campaign set to begin in Punjab on 26th.

In this connection, a meeting was held here at the Chief Secretary’s Office on Thursday under the chairmanship of Provincial Health Minister Dr Yasmeen Rashid at which the arrangements made for the drive were reviewed.

The meeting was attended by the Chief Secretary Punjab, Secretary Primary Health, commissioner and deputy commissioner Lahore and other officers concerned while the divisional commissioners, deputy commissioners and chief executive officers of district health authorities participated through video link.

Addressing the meeting, the provincial health minister said that collective and concerted efforts were needed to eradicate polio from the country. 

She said that along with the campaign against the crippling disease, special attention should be paid to improve EPI coverage.

She said that the exact data of birth registration would have to be collected to know the actual number of zero dose children (term used for children who did not get even a single dose of polio vaccine).

The chief secretary, on the occasion, directed the deputy commissioners to monitor the anti-polio campaign in their districts and keep an eye on the situation, adding that any negligence would not be tolerated at all. He said that emergence of new polio cases in the province and presence of the virus in the environmental samples was a matter of concern. 

Over poor vaccine coverage in some union councils of Dera Ghazi Khan, he said that performance would be reviewed after the upcoming drive and action would be taken against the negligent officials.

The chief secretary also asked the officers to ensure 100 percent coverage in the anti-polio campaign through implementation of the updated micro plan.