Two-day extension in polio campaign

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KARACHI: The three-day polio campaign in the city concluded on Wednesday, but officials extended it by two days to target the children missed during the drive, officials said.

They claimed that most of the neighbourhoods in Karachi returned more than 90 per cent of the target; however, they got reports that children had missed the teams of volunteers for certain reasons.

They said there were certain incidents, where families were still resisting inoculating their children, but most of the areas, where such resistance was high previously responded positively.

“Still there are thousands of children, who are to be targeted in the next two days,” said a senior official in the provincial health ministry.

More than two million children aged five or less were targeted during the campaign.

Commissioner of Karachi Asif Hyder Shah held a review meeting at his office in which decisions were taken to make the ‘catch-up campaign’ for the next two days success.

The commissioner asked officials to become personally involved in the extended days by administering polio boosters to the missed children.

The officials said the teams would continue targeting the intra-city bus stations to inoculate children going out of the city.

Besides, the children of maids and watchmen living in the quarters of bungalows in the city up-market areas were being given special attention.

Meanwhile, a handout by the police stated that some 12,000 policemen would be guarding the teams of volunteers for the five-day campaign.

It said police commandos would be deployed in sensitive neighbourhoods, while strict vigilance would be placed on the entry and exit points of the metropolis during the drive.

The officials said a total of 410 police vans and 240 motorcycles would be used and 440 police commandos would be there to assist the police.

Some 5,000 out of 12,000 policemen would be made available from Sindh reserve police, counterterrorism department, crime branch, anti-encroachment cell and police training schools.

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