PESHAWAR - Health workers on Sunday administered polio drops to more than 700,000 children during a one-day special vaccination drive in the Peshawar amid stringent security steps.

Over 400 teams comprising health workers, visitors and volunteers took part in the drive. Stringent security steps were taken for the protection polio vaccinators, as around 4,000 police personnel were deployed for polio vaccinator teams in Peshawar. Besides, during the vaccinating drive, the awareness pamphlets and booklets regarding nine childhood diseases were also distributed.

The district administration also banned pillion riding to avert any untoward incident during the campaign.

The Provincial Health Department has set a target to administer polio drops to more than 750,000 children below the age of five years in the 97 union councils of Peshawar district to save them from the fatal disease during the campaign, which has been achieved during a one-day special vaccination drive, officials said.

They informed that about 400 fixed and mobile teams had been formed while the district administration had chalked out a comprehensive security plan to ensure their security.

It is pertinent to mention here that the World Health Organisation had declared a global “public health emergency” in early May after new polio cases began surfacing and spreading across the borders from countries including Pakistan. Pakistan is one of only three countries, along with Afghanistan and Nigeria, where the crippling disease remains endemic. But violence has badly hampered the campaign to stamp out polio in Pakistan, where militant groups including the Threek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) - see vaccination campaigns as a cover for espionage.

Dozens of health workers and police have so far been killed in militant attacks on polio vaccination teams in Pakistan since December 2012.