Anti-polio drive resumes today after 4 months

ISLAMABAD: The National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) on Sunday announced resumption of the anti-polio drive on July 20 (today) after a hiatus of four months.
The door to door vaccinations of children against polio was suspended on March 20 due to the coronavirus outbreak. The anti-polio drive initially aims to vaccinate about 800,000 children under the age of five in high-risk districts, including Karachi, Quetta, Faisalabad, Attock and South Waziristan to protect them against the crippling disease.
Around 8,000 health workers will take part in the polio vaccination campaign. The third phase of the polio vaccination drive in Pakistan will begin in the last three months of the current year.
A large-scale anti-polio drive will be launched in the months of August and September, according to the NCOC. The coronavirus reached Pakistan in late February, prompting the government to redirect its health program resources to support COVID-19 surveillance and response efforts.
The NCOC has called the parents to take part in the campaign to save their little ones from the crippling disease. It also sought cooperation for the anti-polio teams in the door to door vaccination campaign.
The health teams would also create awareness about COVID-19 during the vaccination drive, health officials said.
Meanwhile, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr Zafar Mirza has said the government is going to resume anti-polio campaigns to administer polio drops to children in specific localities across the country from Monday (today).
In a tweet, he said: “As things are improving on COVID front we are resuming polio campaigns in specific localities from July 20.”
He said all the government-defined standard operating procedures (SOPs) and health guidelines for social distancing and safety of vaccinators as well as children to be immunised will be strictly followed. – TLTP

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