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Punjab wide anti-polio campaign to kick-off on January 21

LAHORE: First polio eradication drive of 2019 is set to begin on Monday, January 21 in Punjab, Radio Pakistan reported on Friday.

As many as 19 million children ageing between 1 to 5 years will be administered anti-polio drops till January 25.

Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid has directed all concerned that preparations should be completed till Sunday for the campaign.

“The Punjab government wants to make sure that poliovirus circulation in key districts is interrupted during the current low season and the virus is fully eliminated till the end of 2019”, said the minister, while chairing a meeting in Lahore today.

Punjab’s Emergency Operation Coordinator for polio eradication Dr Munir Ahmed said Pakistan is very close to eradicating polio and keeping polio cases down to one in almost three years in Punjab is a great feat.

“However consistent positive environment samples found in Rawalpindi and Lahore indicate that children are still at risk from the crippling virus,” Dr Munir said.

Read more: WHO chief hails Pakistan’s efforts for polio eradication

The provincial emergency operations centre has constituted over 48 thousand teams who will go door-t- door or stand at major crossing and fixed points to vaccinate over 19.1 million under-five children all over the province, he said.

The emergency operations centre has activated social media accounts and set up helpline to receive complaints regarding the polio eradication campaign.

Parents may contact helpline 0800-99000 or post their comments at @PakFightsPolio and @polioeradicationinitiative, if polio teams do not turn up in their areas.

Globally, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria are the three countries still having polio cases.

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