Pakistan

Three-day polio drive cancelled across 4 KP districts

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ALI AKBAR

PESHAWAR: The three-day anti-polio drive which commenced today under Sehat Ka Ittehad programme has been cancelled in four districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) due to poor performance in the previous campaign on Monday.

According to a source in an Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) for Polio of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Department, the ongoing three-day anti-polio campaign was stopped in Buner, Swat, Lakki Marwat and Swabi districts.

The source said polio teams had not reached the targeted number of children in the four districts despite having complete facilities and arrangements.

The source added that the concerned authorities of the said districts have been called for explanation. It will be decided after the meeting when the drives will be launched in the districts.

Meanwhile, the three-day anti polio drive kicked off on Monday in 20 districts of the province.

During the three days of the campaign, a total of 1.4 million children under the age of five will be administered anti-polio drops in 20 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

According to a report of the polio EOC, a total of 4,240 mobile and 395 fixed teams have been deputed while 141 transit points have also been set up across the province for the campaign.

Polio vaccines have been delivered to the districts and full logistic support has also been provided to ensure the mobility and access of polio teams to the targeted areas, said the report.

Pakistan is one of only three countries in the world where polio remains endemic, along with Afghanistan and Nigeria. Efforts to eradicate it have been seriously hampered by the deadly targeting of vaccination teams in recent years.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) had declared that Pakistan is responsible for nearly 80 per cent of polio cases reported globally and had imposed strict travel restrictions on Pakistan last year to prevent the possible spread of the polio virus to other countries.

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