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Three-day polio immunization campaign concludes.

ISLAMABAD -- The three-day sub-national polio immunization campaign concluded on Wednesday in 89 districts across the country.

According to an official of Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), around 16.9 million children under age of five years received vaccination against the crippling disease of polio.

He said in all the participating districts, bivalent oral polio vaccine was also administered. Mobile teams and fixed points were set up to administer anti-polio drops to the children, he added.

He said all districts effectively run the awareness campaign to educate parents to administer anti-polio drops to their children in immunization campaign.

He said due to law and order situation, health teams could not continue anti-polio drive in Swat and some other areas that resulted in increase in polio cases in the area.

He, however, said that now after improving the situation, polio drops are being administered to children in Swat in polio eradication drives.

The representatives of two political forces jointly paid a monitoring visit to Barakoh Rural Health Centre, Islamabad to review the conduct of on-going polio campaign.

Senator Osman Saifullah from Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and MNA Dr. Tariq Fazal Chaudhary from Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) administered polio drops to children and a received briefing on Sub-National Immunization Days (SNIDs) preparation from DHO Dr.Azhar.

"Islamabad should be a model city and Polio Free Capital is the goal that needs to be achieved by joint and collaborative efforts by all political stakeholders", expressed the parliamentarians of the capital.

During the briefing DHO said that for SNIDs there are total 109 polio teams including 99 mobile teams, five fixed teams and five polio teams are recruited at transit points.

Total of 48,989 children are targeted during SNIDs in Bharakoh, Kirpa, Koral, Kurri, Rawat, Sihala, Sohan and Tarlai.

Discussing the challenges, it was told that scarcity of health care facilities and dearth of human resources and engagement of non-accountable volunteers are constant issues, and there is a need to establish new health facilities and strengthening of health department and provision of additional staff.

Concerned officials also highlighted the need of continued training for the monitoring surveillance officials, UC incharges, Area incharges and team members.

"Routine immunization needs to be improved in addition to regular polio rounds", said the official.

To deal with the refusals at schools and other educational institutions, Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) and Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (PEIRA) should be involved in polio rounds, suggested by the participants.
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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Date:Sep 13, 2012
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