WEB DESK: An anti-polio drive in Karachi, Multan and Quetta is currently underway to immunize children below age of five against the fatal disease, Aaj News reported.
Reports claim that the anti-polio campaign has successfully arrived into its second day in Karachi during which polio workers are actively contributing in immunizing vaccination to at least 1,000,000 children in three districts: Sharki, Gharbi and Wasti.
According to Rangers spokesman, heavy contingent of officers have also been deployed for the security of the polio teams.
He said that 108 officers in east zone, 664 in west zone while 100 security men have been deployed in south zone. At least 60 police mobiles and 98 motorcycles would patrol in the various areas during the campaign.
In Multan, a three-day polio drive has kicked off during which as many as 500,000 children will be administered polio drops. According to district government, 1800 teams have been formed for this cause. However, children can also be vaccinated at nearby hospitals, health centers and dispensaries.
In Quetta, more than 2,400,000 children will be inoculated anti-polio drops in as many as 30 districts. The campaign will continue till November 12. The local government has stated that 6,603 teams are participating in the campaign which will inoculate drops to children at various stops like railway stations, bus stands and airports.
At least 1,800 security officers including Balochistan Constabulary (BC) and Levies personnel have been deputed for the security of the workers.
In Punjab, the district administration has also launched an anti-polio drive to inoculate over 10 million children. However, the drive has been stopped in the capital city due to religious congregation (Tablighi Ijtemah) as maximum polio workers are busy in the Ijtemah.
Health teams in Pakistan have been attacked time and again since the Taliban condemned vaccines as a Western conspiracy to sterilize Muslims and imposed bans on inoculation in June 2012.
Tests conducted on sewage samples in some of the country’s major cities came up with evidence that the polio virus is starting to spread beyond these isolated pockets and could soon ignite fresh polio outbreaks in more densely populated areas.
The virus has been cornered to just a handful of areas in Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan, the three countries where polio is endemic.
Reports claim that global cases have dropped by more than 99.9 percent in less than three decades, from 350,000 in 1985 to just 223 last year, according to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
The World Health Organization says as long as any child remains infected, children everywhere are at risk.