KARACHI: A six-day long anti-polio drive started in the metropolis today under which 2.2 million children would be administered with anti-polio drops.

The campaign marks the World Polio Day, observed on October 24, on the birth anniversary of the virologist Jonas Salk from the United States who was the leader of the team that invented the polio vaccine in 1955.

According to the Health Department, 188 Union Councils of Karachi would be covered by the campaign. Approximately 4,500 volunteer teams are participating in the drive.

Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah inaugurated the campaign at Ibrahim Haidery Hospital today. Talking to media, the chief minister appealed the parents to get their children vaccinated to free Pakistan from deadly polio disease. He said if need be, the duration of the campaign would be extended.

The Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) for polio in Sindh will also be conducting oral polio vaccine campaign in 25 districts of Sindh with a target of 76,39,838 children under five years of age from October 24-27, 2016.

This year has seen 15 cases of polio in Pakistan, out of which five are from Sindh. These include one from Karachi, one from Jacobabad, two from Shikarpur and one from Sajawal.

In contrast there were more than 300 cases of polio in Pakistan in 2014 and 54 in 2015, which shows more than 80% reduction this year, said the EOC Sindh coordinator Fayaz Jatoi.