Islamabad, April 16, 2017: First of the two back-to-back nation-wide immunization campaigns will be starting across Pakistan on Monday where more than 37.2 million children will be administered polio drops during the whole week.
National Coordinator for National Emergency Operation Centre, Dr Rana Safdar said that these are the last two campaigns before the end of current low season and are very critical in terms of interrupting the deadly virus in Pakistan. He said that thanks to the continued political commitment and continuous support from the international and national partners “We are about to defeat polio”. He said “I am short of words to praise the unrelenting effort our front line health workers known as Sehat Muhafiz in bringing us so close to polio eradication and hope that they will not leave any stone unturned during these last two campaigns.”
Dr Rana said that TAG’s appreciation has given us confidence in our strategy, operational plans and work force. However, he said that “we are fully committed to implement all the recommendations made during the current TAG in Islamabad.” He said that our concept of one team under one roof has started paying dividends as this collaborative approach has helped us develop a team of experts who have the ability to detect and respond to any public health emergency.
The campaign will target a total 37.1 million under five children (18.8 million in Punjab, 8.6 million in Sindh, 5.6 million in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 1.67 million in Balochistan, 1.038 million in FATA, 0.736 million in AJK, 0.223 million in GB and 0.3 million children in Islamabad) by utilizing over 40 million doses of bOPV. In the core reservoir areas covered through Community Based Vaccination (CBV) approach, it will be a 5 days campaign & 2 days catchup, while in the mobile team areas, there will be a 3 days campaign and 1 or 2 day catchup. In Quetta Block, 253,188 children aged between 4-23 months will be targeted with IPV and 316,485 children with OPV (0-23 months).
A total of 260,000 personnel will strive to achieve set targets across Pakistan including 21,680 Area Incharges, 8,907 UC Medical Officers, 181,367 Mobile, 10,059 Fixed and 42,669 Transit team members. The current Polio epidemiology in the country is best ever observed. Cases have declined from 306 in 2014 to 54 in 2015 and only 20 in 2016. Momentum is maintained in 2017 where the current case count of 2 (from Lodhran and Diamer) compares to 8 same point in time during 2016.