Anti-polio campaign to cover over 2 million children in Balochistan

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Our Staff Correspondent | National | From the Newspaper

QUETTA, Jan 30: A three-day campaign was launched in the province on Monday with an ambitious plan to administer anti-polio drops to 2.2 million children in 27 of Balochistan’s 30 districts.

Balochistan presents a bleak picture as far as the crippling disease is concerned, for it reported 75 polio cases over the past 13 months – the highest figure in all the provinces.

Talking to Dawn, the programme manger and polio team leader of the World Health Organisation, Dr Abdul Wahab, said that 7,204 teams had been engaged in giving anti-polio drops to 2.2 million children under the age of five, adding that services of councillors of 545 union councils and 1,228 area in-charges had also been acquired to monitor the performance of vaccination teams.

He said that 198 polio cases had been detected in the country with Balochistan reporting 73 cases in 2011, while two cases have been detected in Quetta during the current month.

Dr Wahab said that 22 cases were found in Qila Abdullah, a bordering district with Afghanistan, 16 in Pishin and 15 in Quetta.

He said negligence by polio teams was the main reason behind the increasing number of polio cases in Pishin, Qila Abdullah and Quetta.

He said a large number of women workers had been sent to Pishin, Qila Saifullah and Quetta to carry out the campaign effectively.

He said 100 posts of doctors were created, adding that their job would be to monitor the campaign. He said presence of these doctors would be ensured in their place of duty.

Dr Wahab said that in view of the serious situation in Quetta, Pishin and Qila Abdullah an emergency plan had been prepared to be supervised by the chief minister and the chief secretary.

He said all efforts would be made to make the province polio free as soon as possible.

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