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National Polio immunization drive to start today

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City Reporter

ISLAMABAD:  The first national immunization days campaign of the current year 2023 will launch on Monday to vaccinate children under five years of age against the crippling disease of polio.

According to official sources, the campaign will start across the country involving districts of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, and Islamabad.

Over 100,000 trained and dedicated “Sehat muhafiz” will be engaged in the vaccination drive to inoculate the targeted children at their doorstep.

On this occasion, Federal Minister for National Health Services, Regulations, and Coordination, Abdul Qadir Patel said that If we can eliminate the poliovirus from southern KP, we will succeed in eliminating polio from Pakistan altogether.

He added that we are actually quite close to the finish line, and we are determined to get there as soon as possible. “Pakistan has made great strides in the fight against polio, with virus circulation, reduced to only one small part of the country”, he said.

Dr. Shahzad Baig, Coordinator of the National Emergency Operation Centre emphasized that the anti-polio campaign required collective action at all levels to eradicate the poliovirus from the country completely.

He said our aim is to ensure timely and repeated vaccination of eligible children. “High-risk districts are our top priority, and we are keen to eliminate the poliovirus from the challenging areas while protecting the rest of the region as well,” he added.

“I particularly urge all parents and caregivers to get their children vaccinated instead of hiding them or refusing to take the necessary drops during all vaccination drives. It is important to realize that the polio virus still exists in our surroundings, and no child is safe until all children are truly vaccinated,” he said.

Moreover, The National Emergency Operation Centre issued the “Sehat Tahhafuz” Helpline 1166 and 24/7 WhatsApp Helpline 0346-777-65-46 to assist the parents and caregivers in reporting the missed children. Sources added that repeated polio vaccination campaigns are imperative for building immunity among children and preventing possible death or lifelong paralysis.

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