KARACHI: A three-day anti-polio campaign across the country has been launched on Monday (today) amid stringent security measures.
According to Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) for polio, various teams have been formed and sent to numerous districts of all four provinces including Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
The Sindh EOC coordinator told media that the campaign has been launched in 21 districts of the province including Karachi, Dadu, Ghotki, Jacobabad, Qambar, Kashmore, Larkana, Shikarpur, Sukkur, Badin, Hyderabad, Khairpur, Matiari, Naushehro Feroz, Sanghar, Shaheed Banazirabad (Nawabshah), Sajawal, Thatta and Jamshoro.
The aim of the campaign is to target 7,127,711 children less than five years of age, out of which 1,748,244 will be vaccinated in 162 union councils of Karachi.
Fayaz Jatoi, EOC Sindh coordinator, said that the situation in the province has significantly improved with help of the district administrations and town health management teams. However he remarked that there was no room for complacency as the virus could return at any time.
Moreover, he lauded the efforts and coordination with law enforcement agencies (LEAs) for security arrangements for an effective campaign in the province.
Around 5,000 policemen have been deployed for patrolling, security, and enabling a secure environment in Karachi at sensitive locations for the vaccination campaign.
The campaign has begun in 13 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA, aiming to administer polio drops to one million children in the FATA alone, EOC sources said.
Meanwhile, as many as 1,355,000 children less than age of five years are to be vaccinated in other 13 districts of KP, sources informed media.
At least two polio cases were reported in South Waziristan last year. However, no polio case was reported this year from any tribal agency of FATA.
Similar security arrangements have been taken in Balochistan, where personnel of Frontier Corps (FC), Levies, and Police are to be deployed at sensitive locations.
During 2017, at least five cases of polio were reported in Pakistan after years of effective campaign in the fight against the crippling polio virus disease.