PESHAWAR: After environmental samples tested positive for polio, the government has decided to conduct a three-day emergency vaccination campaign in high-risk union councils of Peshawar, Kohat and Hangu and some Afghan refugee camps.
The decision to launch the campaign was announced in a meeting at the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) on Tuesday.
During Tuesday’s meeting, EOC Coordinator Atif Rehman said that they had detected the polio virus in environmental samples collected from Peshawar and Kohat. The sample from Peshawar, Rehman said, had tested positive for a fourth time while Kohat’s samples had tested positive for the first time.
The meeting was told that the virus was circulating in the area and its presence in the sewage water had prompted the EOC to launch a special drive to help stop the virus circulation and prevent the emergence of polio cases in these districts and from other adjoining districts.
Rehman pointed out that Peshawar had been free of polio for the past two years while only one case had been reported from the entire province in 2017 which suggested a marked decline in the number of polio cases.
“We need to sustain the successes achieved so far in the war against polio and cannot afford any complacency,” Rehman was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the EOC on Tuesday.
Rehman urged parents and others to support the government’s efforts in rooting out the virus by the year’s end and vaccinate their children during every round of the campaign.
Earlier, the meeting was told that the special anti-polio campaign will start on January 31 in select areas of the province and will last until February 2. During this period 3.24 million children will be administered polio drops in 28 union councils (UCs of Peshawar, 11 UCs of Kohat and eight UCs of Hangu.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 31st, 2018.
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