Polio case response vaccination campaign in KP kicks off

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Ashrafuddin Pirzada

PESHAWAR: In view of the polio outbreak in the Bannu division and continuous virus circulation in the province, the provincial Emergency Operations Center has decided to launch a polio case response campaign in Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan, Malakand, and Hazara divisions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from tomorrow, June 17.

Polio media Incharge Aqeel told this scribe that the special case response campaign would be carried out amid tight security measures in District Bannu, Lakki Marwat, North Waziristan, D.I. Khan, Tank, South Waziristan, Shangla, Buner and Torghur areas of the KP province.

He said that the decision to this effect was taken in a high-level meeting held here with Coordinator EOC Capt,(R)Kamran Ahmed Afridi in the chair.

He said despite other health officials director EPI KP Doctor Akram Shah and other staff members attended the meeting.

The meeting was informed that a total of 1104023 children under the age of five will be immunized in the door-to-door campaign.

A total of 4710 vaccination teams have been constituted for the campaign out of which 3127 would be mobile teams, 260 fixed teams, 235 transit teams, 60 roaming teams, and 1028 community health workers while 836 Area Incharges would be deployed to monitor these teams and quality of the campaign.    

Speaking on the occasion, Coordinator EOC Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Capt. (R) Kamran Ahmed Afridi said vaccination of every child during the campaigns was the only way that would take us to polio eradication. 

He said a major cause of polio cases was refusing parents with doubts in their minds and appealed to parents not to pay attention to propaganda as the polio vaccine was completely safe and had no side effects.

Kamran Afridi said that millions of doses have been administered to children in the country with no adverse effects adding that polio has been eradicated in the world using the same vaccine.

Refusing vaccination leads to continuous virus circulation and polio cases that take us away from polio eradication, he added. 

It merits mention here that the total number of polio cases in the country has soared to 23 during 2019 so far; out of which 17 confirmed polio cases have been reported from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; that are 7 polio cases from District Bannu, 1 from District Hangu, 1 from DIKhan, 1 from Shangla, 1 from Bajaur, 1 from District Khyber and 5 from North Waziristan.