LAHORE: The Emergency Operation Center for Polio Eradication (EOC) has taken up a massive campaign to eradicate polio from Punjab whereas, almost 90.7 million children across Punjab have already been vaccinated, Pakistan Today learnt in a meeting with Punjab EOC Coordinator Salman Ghani.
In a meeting with this scribe, he mentioned that Punjab polio eradication strategy has made significant development towards stopping poliovirus transmission in the province. “Polio is a virus which is infectious and can be transmitted from one child to another while it can cause disabilities or death in different cases. As there is less immunity in children therefore, they can catch the disease easily, therefore, the vaccination is essential for them.”
He told the scribe that the vaccination is provided door to door for the children by the government is very much safe, beneficial and halal and more than 160 Islamic Scholars from different countries have declared this vaccination halal. “The rumours about polio vaccination that it causes impotency are baseless and we must not pay any attention to such reports,” Salman Ghani said.
On inquiring about the source of medicine and vaccination Salman Ghani informed that it is being imported from Indonesia which is also a Muslim country. “Almost all the countries of the world have eradicated polio from their children. Only Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria are left behind and in last year Pakistan has a maximum number of Polio recorded. As this virus can be transmitted easily, therefore, it can be transmitted from one country to another. That is why all the countries and relevant organizations are making an effort to eradicate this disease from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria so that the entire world is safe from polio”, he mentioned.
“People living in areas where there is contaminated water having poliovirus in it can also affect the children and they can catch this disease from there. In Punjab, we received three cases of polio and after that, we have launched a massive campaign. We have made micro level plans so that each child in a house can be checked. The public was not well aware of this disease and did not consider it a threat to their children but now we are campaigning in a way that the people become aware of the severity of this disease and understand the fact that it can take away the life of their child”, Salman Ghani said.
According to Salman Ghani, polio drops needed to be given several times to a child in order to rule out the disease completely. The EOC has also started door to door surveys and compiling reports based on the relevant surveys.
“Only in Punjab, there is a staff of almost 112,000 working for this campaign and meetings are being held at the grass root level including the Union Council and Tehsil Council staff. We are doing campaigns in places other than houses which include Railway Station, Bus Stands etc. and where ever our staff sees a child they vaccinate them. We are working on effective communication strategy as well to educate and aware the masses about polio through meaningful tools and messages,” Salman Ghani concluded.