LAHORE - Punjab will hold an anti polio campaign as part of Sub National Immunization Day (SNID) in seven high risk districts from October 7-9.

Health Services Director General Dr Zahid Pervaiz has said the campaign will be carried out in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Multan, Muzaffargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan, Rajanpur and Rahim Yar Khan.

Punjab is in final stages of completing the 14-day catch up activity of September’s National Immunization Day. In a bid to boost the polio eradication efforts, the SNID will be conducted in the targeted districts.

“Even though we did not have a single case of polio since December 2014, Punjab faces a challenge of viral transmission from reservoir areas of other provinces through inter provincial movement of migrant population,” said the DG Health.

Punjab’s Director of Expanded Program on Immunization Dr Munir Ahmed said: “Over the past six months, we have had a few positive environmental samples in Lahore and Multan. Campaigns in selected Union Councils were already conducted in these districts.

“In bid to ensure that the province remains polio free, seven districts featuring high on various risk factors have been selected for the campaign.”

The districts sharing borders as well as strategic routes with other provinces i.e. Dera Ghazi Khan, Rajanpur and Rahim Yar Khan will be under special focus, he said and added that instructions have been passed to the teams to ensure top notch performance.

Special Transit Points have been set up on bordering districts with other provinces where children are immunized on entry points. “Punjab already held Polio NID in September and the catch up activity has just got concluded.

“In light of the lessons learnt from September, we have asked the districts to remove shortcomings in their micro plans. A detailed progress review on campaign preparations will be undertaken with the districts.”

He said that Pakistan has been in global spotlight for polio. With commitment from the highest political leadership, the province has seen a steep increase in routine immunization coverage, reaching 70 per cent, he added.