LAHORE: A seven-day anti-polio campaign kicked-off in 31 districts of Punjab and 41 districts of Sindh on Saturday.
According to the Sindh Health Department, more than nine million children below the age of five will be administered anti-polio drops during the campaign.
Meanwhile in Punjab, more than 17 million children below the age of five will be administered anti-polio drops.
The polio eradication campaign will begin in Balochistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) from August 17th.
The campaign is being carried out following the successful resumption of polio activities in July 2020 after a four-month suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
To build immunity among susceptible children, vaccinators will go door-to-door during this campaign to administer the Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) to children under the age of five, as well as vitamin A supplements to children who are between 6-59 months of age.
The Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme has provided vaccinators with face masks and hand sanitizers for additional protection.
Meanwhile, Dr Faisal Sultan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services said, “It is imperative that Pakistan continues its fight against polio with an already accessible, safe and widely used vaccine that has saved countless children from polio worldwide. I am hopeful that parents will continue to realize the importance of vaccinating their children during this campaign in August and help our nation ultimately end the threat of polio.”
As with the last campaign held in July, polio vaccinators will continue to adhere to stringent operating procedures while vaccinating children to protect themselves and families from Covid-19. Vaccinators have been trained ahead of the campaign to undertake prevention measures, including keeping a safe distance from children and families while administering drops and ensuring that parents themselves hold their children.
According to Dr Rana Safdar, the coordinator of the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) of the Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme, the campaign in August would help Pakistan tackle increased virus transmission within hotspots of virus circulation across the nation.
“The August campaign is much bigger than the last campaign held in July, we are hoping to reach many more vulnerable children. I was encouraged with the success of our last campaign, particularly how parents cooperated with vaccinators despite the Covid-19 environment, and how our vaccinators followed the Covid-19 safety precautions they were trained on,” he said.