Border surveillance for polio to be increased

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QUETTA: Polio surveillance will be accelerated in the areas along the Afghan border to vaccinate every child entering the country.

The Emergency Operation Centre’s Coordinator Dr Syed Saifur Rehman stated this at a meeting that discussed the polio issue in detail here on Wednesday.

“We want to ensure administering polio vaccine to every child entering Pakistan from Afghanistan,” he said, adding that every child under five year of age would be administered the vaccine.

The meeting decided that not a single family would be allowed to enter into Pakistan without administering polio vaccine to their children.

“The children leaving the country will also be administrated the vaccine.”

Dr Rehman said the administration and security guards in border areas would ensure that every child was vaccinated and carried a card confirming it.

The Frontier Corps, Balochistan, will be requested to deploy paramedic staff in the border towns to vaccinate the children. “It is tragic that Pakistan is among the three countries in the world which are still struggling to get rid of this crippling virus,” he said.

“There is a need to improve the performance in the areas along the border with Afghanistan, since both Pakistan and Afghanistan are unable to eradicate the poliovirus.”

The official said ice-lined refrigerators would be placed at points near the border to keep the vaccine and the vaccinators would be provided all facilities in order to ensure that no child was missed.

Published in Dawn, April 2nd, 2015

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