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Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid, Secretary Health Sarah Aslam and Coordinator EOC Punjab inaugurated the polio campaign. Photo: Pak Fights Polio @PakFightsPolio/ TwitterAn anti-polio immunisation campaign for children under five years has been launched in Pakistan today (Monday).

More than 40 million children under the age of five will get the polio vaccine. Around 285,000 frontline workers will go door-to-door in all 156 districts across the country Pakistan to give polio drops.

The government has reassured parents that all coronavirus SOPs will be strictly followed during the campaign.

Here are the polio programme helpline numbers: 0346-7776546 and 1166.

Punjab

Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid, Secretary Health Sarah Aslam and Coordinator EOC Punjab inaugurated the polio campaign. Photo: Pak Fights Polio @PakFightsPolio/ TwitterTwenty million children between two to five years of age will be given the anti-polio vaccine during a five-day drive.

According to a spokesperson of the Punjab Health Department, 120,000 health workers will take part in the campaign.

No polio cases have been reported in Punjab so far this year. Last year, 14 children developed the disease.

Sindh

Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho administers polio drops to a child at the inauguration of the campaign at EOC, Karachi. Photo: Sindh health departmentNine million children under the age of five years will receive anti-polio drops during a week-long drive. Out of the nine million children to be given oral polio drops, approximately 2 million reside in Karachi.

Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho inaugurated a province-wide polio campaign at the Emergency Operation Centre.

The EOC Sindh spokesperson said that as a result of the pandemic the gap in campaigns from March to July left an immunity gap in children which we have been addressing through back-to-back monthly polio campaigns since August 2020.

Sindh has recorded no new polio cases this year. Last year, 22 children were affected by the virus.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Deputy Commissioner Peshawar and SSP Operations administer polio drops to officially launch the campaign in Peshawar. Photo: Pak Fights Polio @PakFightsPolio/ TwitterMore than 6.4 million children up to five years of age will be given anti-polio drops during the five-day campaign.

According to the Emergency Operation Centre Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, around 30,000 teams will go door to door to vaccinate the children.

Polio teams will also be available at bus stops, railway stations, Afghan refugee camps and other public places to ensure the vaccination of every child, the EOC added. Twenty-two polio cases were detected in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa last year and none this year.

Balochistan

The only known polio case in the country this year was reported in Balochistan. Twenty-six children developed the disease last year.

Despite this, no official details of Balochistan’s immunisation campaign have been released. There have been reports of the drive being postponed, however, SAMAA Digital could not verify the news.

Gilgit-Baltistan

More than 242,000 children up to five years of age will be given the anti-polio vaccine in the region.

A total of 1690 teams have been deployed by the health department for this purpose. No polio cases have been reported from Gilgit-Baltistan since 2017.

Azad Jammu and Kashmir

The polio drive will target more than 660,000 children during the five day campaign. According to the health department, 2,000 mobile teams and 397 fixed teams have been deployed for the drive, and 124 transit points have also been set up.

Azad Jammu and Kashmir hasn’t reported a polio case since 2015.

Abdul Gh Lone

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