Pakistan is to commence with its anti polio drive today, January 11, the first polio campaign of the new year. It aims to vaccinate around 40 million children across the country, of less than five years of age. In an attempt to build immunity among vulnerable children against polio, supplementary doses of Vitamin A will also be given.
Dr. Faisal Sultan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on National Health Services said, “Our aim is to ensure timely and repeated vaccination of children. This is key to reduce the immunity gap and to protect our children against polio and other diseases. The government is committed to reaching the goal of a polio-free Pakistan which requires full support of the nation, especially from communities, parents and caregivers of children under the age of 5 years.”
Dr Rana Muhammad Safdar, Director General of Health and Coordinator of the National Emergency Operations Centre, Polio Eradication Initiative (PEI), stated that repeated campaigns were imperative to give ‘a quick immunity boost’ to children under five.
“With our committed frontline workers, and the cooperation of parents and caregivers, the programme aims to restrict the geographic scope of poliovirus circulation to the high-risk areas only and get closer to the goal of eradication in 2021,” Dr Rana said.