Nationwide polio campaign starts today –

The last nationwide anti-polio campaign of the year will start on Monday (today) to vaccinate more than 38 million children under five years of age.

During the campaign, over 270,000 frontline workers will go door to door to ensure that every child receives vaccines.

Eight cases of wild poliovirus — three from Dukki district in Balo­chistan, one from Charsadda in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and one from Gadap in Sindh, one from Khyber and two cases from Bajaur — have so far been reported this year.

It shows that the number of annual polio cases has decreased by 97 per cent from 306 reported in 2014.

In November, the sewage water samples collected from Karachi, Sukkur, Pesha­war, Mardan, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Islamabad tested positive for poliovirus.

The genetic analysis reports from the Polio Virology Laboratory at the National Institute of Health, Islamabad, confirmed that the virus was able to take the road from current hotspots within the country and in Afghanistan, posing risks to under-immunised children residing elsewhere.

Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Polio Eradication Babar Bin Atta said: “The battle is very much on and it is absolutely critical that parents ensure that all their children under the age of five are vaccinated during the polio vaccination campaigns. I would urge every Pakistani to assume the role of a Sehat Muhafiz and ensure that no child is left unvaccinated in his own house or in the neighbourhood.”

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