KP CM urged to monitor vaccination in Bannu over high polio incidence
ISLAMABAD: The prime minister’s focal person on polio eradication, Babar bin Atta, has suggested Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan supervise the vaccination campaign in Bannu division to check the growing polio incidence.
The National Emergency Operation Centre said in a statement that eight of the year’s 16 countrywide polio cases were reported in Bannu division, including five in Bannu district and three in North Waziristan tribal district.
The first polio case was detected in Bannu division in Oct 2008 leading to an outbreak of the crippling disease in North Waziristan and Bannu areas in 2014.
PM focal person warns situation will worsen if corrective steps not taken
“The situation is not just alarming. It will worsen if the emergency corrective measures are not adopted,” said Mr Atta.
He said technical experts strongly felt that if the circulation of poliovirus was not contained, it would soon engulf the neighbouring divisions as well.
The focal person said the federal and provincial governments were fully committed to the anti-polio cause.
He said the children affected by polio virus could suffer paralysis for life.
“There is no cure for polio. Prevention through immunisation is the only viable solution,” he said, adding that multiple vaccinations guaranteed protection from polio.
Mr Atta said the anti-polio programme would launch a special polio campaign in Bannu division soon to meet the standard requirement for the eradication of the virus.
“It is high time that we gear up to collectively fight the menace of polio and provide support to our brave frontline workers so that they can reach and vaccinate every single Pakistani child.
“We cannot afford resistance at any level that will put the health of millions of children at risk,” he said.
Meanwhile, coordinator for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Emergency Operation Centre Kamran Afridi issued instructions to the administration of Bannu district to take necessary measures for the success of the upcoming polio campaign.
He said anyone hampering the campaign wouldn’t be spared.
“The Bannu district administration should make every possible effort to ensure that every child is vaccinated,” he said.
Published in Dawn, May 17th, 2019