ISLAMABAD - President Asif Ali Zardari will launch the next round of three-day national polio immunisation campaign here on Monday (tomorrow).
He will also be telling the international community that despite challenges Pakistan is making an all-out effort and there is a progressive improvement in campaign performance with a sharp decline in the number of polio cases and districts with polio virus circulation. Cabinet ministers, all Governors, Chief Secretaries, Secretaries of Health, parliamentarians and representatives of international partner organisations will also participate in the event to be held at Aiwan-e-Sadr on October 15 (Monday).
The Prime Minister's Polio Monitoring and Coordination Cell will be overseeing this nationwide campaign to ensure that targets set by the National Task Force led by the Prime Minister are met.
In the provinces, the Chief Ministers will be leading the effort whereas Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will personally supervise the campaign in FATA.
National Coordinator for Prime Minister's Polio Monitoring Cell, Dr Altaf Bosan told APP that Pakistan to date has reported 44 cases this year as compared to 136 in the same period last year whereas the number of infected districts has reduced from 41 last year to 26 this year.
Of the 44 cases reported this year 33 are from FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa alone highlighting that the virus is mostly restricted to these areas and the challenge of inaccessibility and security needs to be met with consistent effort, Dr Bosan added. He said special arrangements to target each and every household have been made to ensure no child is missed during the upcoming campaign.
He said a total of 77,168 vaccination teams will go house to house across the country to vaccinate all the children aged less than five years.
Moreover, 5,824 transit teams will also function on the busy market places, bus stations, airports, railway stations and other busy routes and points to vaccinate children out of the house and on the move, he added.
Talking to APP, spokesman of Prime Minister's Polio Monitoring
Cell, Mazhar Nisar said that an additional 9,679 vaccination fixed teams will also work in the health facilities and clinics during drive. He added all vaccination teams will be supervised by a total of 16,750 area supervisors and 3,159 Union Council in-charges and Medical Officers.
He said 22 special border vaccination posts have been established at the Pak-Afghan and Pak-China borders to vaccinate all children under five years of age entering or exiting from these border points.