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Govt committed to eradicate polio from country: Senate told.

ISLAMABAD -- Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Saira Afzal Tarar said the government was taking serious measures to eradicate polio from the country.

Replying to a question in the Senate the minister said as part of such efforts, a total of around 862 million doses of Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) were administered to all children under 5 years of age across Pakistan through the National (NIDs) and Sub-National (SNIDs) supplementary immunization activities conducted during the last three years.

She said unfortunately Pakistan and Afghanistan were still on list of polio-hit countries, adding the virus was easily communicated due to movable populations.

She said if five cases were detected, two of them were found in KP province, but now she added, the KP government had put up effective efforts to eradicate the virus and their struggle in this regard was satisfactory.

She said as the programme aimed at complete eradication of virus, all children under 5 years of age were accessed through door to door strategy covering all villages and even households.

She said nationwide campaign involves around 85041 mobile and 5125 transit teams, a total of 6697 fixed sites support vaccine and logistics for the activity.

She said fixed sites also provided vaccination services visiting health facilities during the campaign the children against polio all across the country.

In order to access each village during every campaign detailed micro plans were worked out at Union Council level, she added.

She said within the micro plan, teams comprising of two members each were also guided about their daily work and route to be taken.

She said adequate arrangements were in place to cover all villages targeted during a particular campaign.

She said the polio teams comprising of the officials from the health, education and security and other Government departments as well as volunteers record all children that could not be vaccinated during first visit for being not-available or refusal as the case may be.

She said the strategy was pursued to ensure vaccination of these missed children and the teams revisit the missed households on the same day of the 3-day campaign to covering the missed children and update record accordingly.

She added 4th and if required 5th day of the campaign was utilized to cover the remaining missed children.

She said the children that remain still-missed, are covered up by health officials and WHO/UNICEF staff during the 14 days extended catch-up period.

She said the community influencers and religious leaders are also engaged to vaccinate the recorded refusals as required during the process.

She said the operation was completed by using around 223,000 personnel in every nationwide campaign including 19,211 Area lncharges, 9,792 UC Medical Officers, 85,041 mobile, 9,995 fixed and 5,125 transit teams.

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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Mar 10, 2016
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