Over 2.8m children to be vaccinated against polio in upcoming campaign in KP: EOC

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                PESHAWAR, Nov 25 (APP):The November round of anti-polio drive has been planned in 12 districts of the province with a focus on southern and central parts of the province wherein over 2.8 million eligible children will be vaccinated against polio to help purge the region of the circulating virus and move closer to the goal of polio-free world.

This was decided in a readiness meeting here at Emergency Operations Center Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with Director General Health Services Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Dr Shaheen Afridi, and Additional Secretary Health (Polio Eradication) /Coordinator EOC, Asif Raheem in the chair.

Deputy Coordinator EOC, Muhammad Zeeshan Khan, Team Lead UNICEF KP, Dr Andrew Etsano, Team Lead WHO KP Dr. Sarfaraz Afridi, Technical Focal Person EOC KP Dr. Imtiaz Ali Shah, Team Lead N-STOP Dr. Hafeezullah and relevant officials of health department were also present on the occasion.

The chair was briefed that as per the decision of the National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) the November campaign will be conducted in two phases in 12 districts including Bannu, Lakki Marwat, North Waziristan, D.I.Khan, Tank, South Waziristan, Peshawar, Khyber, Nowshera, Swat, Mohmand, and Bajaur.

It was told that the first round will be kicked off in Bannu, Lakki Marwat and North Waziristan districts from November 28 to December 2, 2022, during which 566,164 million children under five years will be administered polio drops by teams.

Likewise, the chair was informed that the second round of the campaign will be kicked off on December 5, 2022, in 7 complete districts of D. I Khan, Tank and South Waziristan, Peshawar, Khyber, Swat, Nowshera while a partial campaign will be carried out in Bajaur and Mohmand districts.

Overall a total of 2,804,081 children will be administered polio drops in the campaign in 12 districts for which a total of 11,464 teams have been constituted out of which 9,184 were mobile teams, 700 fixed teams, 612 transit teams ad 74 roaming teams, the meeting was told. 

The chair was informed that more than 20,000 law enforcement agencies personnel will be deployed in the campaign districts to ensure security for the frontline workers in the upcoming November campaign.

Speaking on the occasion, Additional Secretary Health (Polio Eradication)/ Coordinator EOC, Asif Rahim stressed that all necessary operational, communications, and security arrangements shall be made to ensure smooth conduct of the campaign and administration of the anti-polio vaccine to all target children.

He appreciated the resolve, commitment, and tireless efforts of front-line workers for braving all odds for protecting children from potentially fatal diseases saying that all the segments of society including parents, community elders, religious scholars, doctors, media, and civil society shall support the government in eradicating the crippling disease from the region.

”The toll-free Helpline 1166 and 24/7 WhatsApp Polio Helpline 0346-777-65-46 will be available to assist parents and caregivers by providing information about vaccines and campaign information”, he added.