LAHORE        -        The five-day polio drive started across the country to vaccinate 39.6 million children under the age of five years on Monday. In Punjab, the Emergency Operations Centre for Polio Eradication has constituted more than 48,000 teams to vaccinate over 19.93 million children under the age of five years.

On the directions of Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, a special ceremony was organised for formal launching of the campaign. Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid, Minister for Housing Mian Mehmood ur Rasheed, Chief Secretary Maj (R) Azam Suleman Khan and some other health and administrative officials attended the ceremony.

Buzdar directed the Deputy Commissioners to supervise the anti-polio campaign and urged the parents to cooperate with the teams and get their children vaccinated. He said that victory is the only option in the war against polio. “It is our responsibility to inform the masses about the benefits of polio vaccine for future generations. No negligence and inefficiency will be tolerated during the campaign,” he said.

Mian Mahmood ur Rasheed and Deputy Commissioner Lahore Danish Afzaal inaugurated the campaign by administering anti-polio vaccine to the children here at Jinnah Filter Clinic, Wahdat Colony.  Rasheed said that a decision has been taken to hold anti-polio campaign every month, while the DC claimed that proper security measures have been taken for the safety of the anti-polio teams. He added that the citizens should cooperate with the teams, as two drops of the anti-polio vaccine guarantee a healthy future for children.

Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department (PSHD) Secretary Capt (R) Mohammad Usman visited different areas of the provincial capital to review arrangements for the campaign. He also administrated polio drops to the children along with teams in Shadman. He said that the government has hired 4,603 additional polio workers to cover maximum areas.