Pakistan begins nationwide polio immunisation campaign after reporting three new cases

03:51 PM | 23 May, 2022
Pakistan begins nationwide polio immunisation campaign after reporting three new cases
Source: @PakFightsPolio

ISLAMABAD – Pakistani government on Monday (today) started a five-day nationwide vaccination programme with an aim to vaccinate nearly 43 million children following the detection of three new cases this year.

A statement issued by Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme said more than 340,000 polio frontline workers will provide polio vaccines at the doorsteps across Pakistan. A supplementary dose of Vitamin A drops will also be administered to children during the campaign.

The nationwide campaign started days after three polio cases were reported in Khyber Pakthunkhwa’s North Waziristan district this year, which overshadowed long-running efforts of making the fifth most populous country polio-free.

This is the third campaign this year which was initially planned for high-risk areas but later expanded to the entire country.

At least 21.9 million children will be vaccinated in Punjab, 9.9 million in Sindh, 7.2 million in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 2.6 million in Balochistan 0.27 million in Gilgit Baltistan, 0.7 million in Azad Kashmir, and 0.40 million in federal capital Islamabad.

The South Asian country previously launched two anti-polio campaigns this year following discovering only one case of the disease last year.

Meanwhile, the new cases took the global tally to five, with a case also confirmed in Malawi and another in neighboring Afghanistan, per reports.

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The anti-polio campaigns are even marked by violence due to unawareness and conspiracy theories. Banned outfits target polio teams and law enforcers assigned to protect them.

Earlier in March, unidentified attackers in the northwestern region shot and killed a female polio worker as she was returning home after a day of vaccinations while a police officer was killed in January.

Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only remaining countries in the world still trying to eradicate polio, which can cause severe paralysis in children.

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