LAHORE - Removing misconceptions about polio vaccine on Sunday, Focal Person to Prime Minister Imran Khan on Polio Eradication Babar Atta and the district administration convinced Lahore-based Ikram Ullah, who had been refusing to get his daughters vaccinated against polio for the last few years, to put an end to his resistance.

Ikram Ullah also inaugurated the anti-polio campaign at a ceremony at Malik Park on Outfall Road. Deputy Commissioner of Lahore Saleha Saeed, Additional Secretary for Health Usman Ghani and Additional Deputy Commissioner Safdar Hussain Virk were also present at the ceremony. The drive will continue for one week from May 13 to May 19 in 94 union councils in the city.

Baber Atta said, “Ikram Ullah, father of a recent polio victim in Lahore, one-year-old Hafsa, initially refused polio vaccine due to misconceptions about the campaign. Today he inaugurated the Lahore Polio Campaign with me as part of our efforts to convince the refusing parents”.

He said that in recent years Ikram Ullah did not allow the polio vaccinators to administer polio drops to his daughters and that became the reason for polio cases in the city. He had a detailed meeting with the DIG Operations to review security arrangements for the Lahore polio drive.

In total, 2,500 security personnel have been deployed to ensure smooth and secure conduct of the campaign.

The PM’s focal person on polio eradication is determined to achieving 100 percent target during the anti-polio drive. He along with the Lahore DC met the UC leadership of the city.

Baber Atta said, “Ahead of the Lahore Polio Campaign, he had a free exchange of ideas with UC leadership of the provincial capital. I answered their most challenging questions and we agreed to go in the campaign with 100 percent force to restore Lahore’s Polio Free Status.” He announced that on the basis of their performance leadership of the 10 best union councils would break their fast with Prime Minister Imran Khan at Prime Minister’s House in Islamabad.  It is pertinent to mention here that in 2016 Punjab was declared polio free province but in 2018 polio cases surfaced and in 2019 so far three cases have been found in the city.

The DC said, “We are going to launch a polio vaccine drive with a strong effect on May 13. This time the monitoring would be stricter than previous campaigns.” She has directed all officers to monitor the drive efficiently.

A seminar was also held at the Lahore Press Club. Lahore Division Commissioner Dr Mijtiba Piracha, Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid, DC Lahore and people from all walks of life -- religious leaders of different sects, cricketers and showbiz personalities – attended the seminar and asked parents to cooperate with the anti-polio drive.