PESHAWAR - In view of polio outbreak in Bannu division and continuous virus circulation in the province, Emergency Operations Centre Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has decided to launch polio case response campaign in Bannu division, DI Khan division and in some parts of Malakand and Hazara division from today (Monday).

The special case response campaign will be carried out amid tight security measures in District Bannu, Lakki Marwat, North Waziristan, DI Khan, Tank, South Waziristan, Shangla, Buner and Torghar.

Decision to this effect was taken in a high-level meeting held here with Coordinator EOC Capt (Retd) Kamran Ahmed Afridi in the chair. Also present on the occasion were Director EPI KP Dr. Akram Shah, technical team leads of WHO, UNICEF, BMGF and N Stops. The meeting was informed that a total of 1104023 children under the age of five will be immunised in the door-to-door campaign.

A total of 4710 vaccination teams have been constituted for the campaign out of which 3127 will be mobile teams, 260 fixed teams, 235 transit teams, 60 roaming teams, 1028 community health workers while 836 area incharges will be deployed to monitor these teams and quality of the campaign.   Speaking on the occasion, Afridi said, “Vaccination of every child during the campaigns is the only way that would take us to polio eradication.”

He said a major cause of polio cases is parents refusing to get their child vaccinated with doubts in their minds and appealed to parents not to pay attention to propagandas as polio vaccine was completely safe and has no side effects. Afridi said that millions of doses have been administered to children in the country with no adverse effects adding that polio has been eradicated in the world using the same vaccine. Refusing vaccination leads to continuous virus circulation and polio cases that takes us away from polio eradication, he added.

The total number of polio cases in the country has soared to 23 during 2019 so far; out of which 17 confirmed polio cases have been reported from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa - seven cases from District Bannu, one each from Hangu, DI Khan, Shangla, Bajaur, Khyber and five cases from North Waziristan.