Pakistan

Anti-polio drive underway in 12 districts of Balochistan

QUETTA: A three-day anti polio drive has been launched in 12 districts of Balochistan, ARY News reported.

Dr. Syed Saif-ur-Rehman, Coordinator of the Emergency Operation Centres (EOC) in Balochistan, stated that 1.493 million children under the age of five will be administered polio drops.

He said that 395 support centres and 3619 mobile teams have been made for the anti-polio campaign. Frontier Corps, police and Levies personnel have been deployed for proving safety to the polio teams.

It should be noted that polio is just endemic in two countries of the world namely Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Efforts to get rid of the polio virus in Pakistan have been complicated in recent years, as polio workers have faced attacks by militants who say the health teams are Western spies.

Pakistan’s polio cases are declining, with just 54 cases of polio virus reported last year, down more than 80 percent from 2014, when the country suffered a large spike in cases.

Seven policemen were killed when armed men on motorcycles opened fire at the law enforcement agencies during a polio-eradication drive in Karachi. In January, a suicide bomber killed at least 15 people outside a polio eradication centre in Quetta, with two militant groups claiming responsibility.

A Media Round Table discussion was held by The Emergency Operation Centre for Polio in collaboration with UNICEF Sindh, to talk about polio and derive conclusions on how to eliminate the disease from Pakistan.

Bill Gates, Microsoft owner,  has said that “with any luck” polio will be eradicated by 2017 in the last two countries – Pakistan and Afghanistan – where it remains active.

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