Starting August 1st, a crucial polio campaign will happen in Balochistan to administer vaccinations to approximately 2.6 million children under five.
The province's polio eradication program head, Syed Zahid Shah, revealed that 11,539 teams of dedicated health workers will participate in this week-long initiative.
🔔Attention, parents & caregivers in Balochistan❗— Pak Fights Polio (@PakFightsPolio) July 31, 2023
The sub-national vaccination campaign begins on 1st August🗓️. Over 2.59 million children under 5 will receive polio drops in 35 districts. Your support can make a world 🌎 of difference.#VaccinesWork #EndPolio pic.twitter.com/Ogo7Urm1en
In a meeting chaired by Balochistan Chief Secretary Abdul Aziz Uqaili, key stakeholders, Quetta DIG Operations, deputy commissioners of various districts, and representatives from UNICEF, WHO, and other relevant bodies, reviewed the arrangements for the campaign.
During the meeting, Mr. Uqaili emphasized the importance of active participation from all stakeholders, especially the local administration. He said, “We are on a mission to completely eradicate the poliovirus from Balochistan by the end of 2023.”
He added, “The challenge lies in the presence of the virus in neighboring Afghanistan, particularly in districts such as Chaman, Qila Abdullah, and Pishin, which share borders with the country.”
Highlighting the progress made through effective anti-polio campaigns, the chief secretary emphasized the need for utmost security for polio workers in all areas, with additional personnel deployed in regions with challenging law and order situations.
Mr. Uqaili took the lead by inaugurating the campaign, administering polio drops to a child, and setting the momentum for the extensive drive.
CS Abdul Aziz Uqaili, Secretary Health Asfand Yar Kakar, and Commissioner #Quetta Division Inaugurate August 2023 #Polio Campaign at CS Office.Joining Forces for a Polio-Free Future, Govt Officials Kickstart Vaccination Drive in Quetta.#healthcare #poliofree #Balochistan pic.twitter.com/VWsTqcsZzy— Glowing Balochistan (@GlowingBalochi1) July 28, 2023
Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two nations where poliovirus remains endemic.
In March of this year, Pakistan reported its first poliovirus case in the Bannu district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, underscoring the continued importance of such vaccination campaigns.
Given that districts along the Pak-Afghan border are still considered virus hotspots, the efforts in Balochistan assume even greater significance in the global mission to eradicate polio.