Anti-polio teams deployed at shrines

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2022-08-02T00:26:56+05:00 Our Staff Reporter
LAHORE - The Punjab anti-polio programme has deployed 16 teams at the shrines with the start of urs celebrations of Sufi saints - Baba Farid Ganj Shakkar and Hazrat Sultan Bahu. In a statement issued here on Monday, a spokesman said that the teams will ensure vaccination of all children five years of age or less during the 10-day urs celebrations, which began simultaneously in Pakpattan and Jhang.

Punjab health department is anticipating arrival of 33,000 children from across the province at the urs celebrations. The teams will work in two shifts to ensure that every child is reached and vaccinated. On the first day of urs on Sunday, over 500 children were vaccinated at the shrine of Hazrat Baba Farid Ganj Shakkar.

Punjab has been polio-free since October 2020 while no environmental sample has tested positive since May 2021. Nevertheless, this success will remain fragile unless and until polio is completely eradicated from both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Moreover, Punjab Emergency Operations Centre has also set up transit points at inter-provincial boundaries, international airports and railway stations. The teams vaccinate children belonging to mobile and migratory populations arriving from all parts of the country.

The deployment of transit teams will ensure that virus does not return to the province or find its way through Punjab to other provinces. Transit points serve as an opportunity to vaccinate maximum number of children crossing through the sites. The sites play a key role in vaccination of children till five years of age and mitigating the risk of virus transmission to the province.

The districts where permanent transit sites have been set up include Attock, Mianwali, Bhakkar, Dera Ghazi Khan, Rajanpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Multan, Faisalabad, Lahore and Sialkot. So far till July 2022, over one million children have been vaccinated at these transit sites.

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