PESHAWAR - In order to minimise risk of more polio positive cases ahead of high transmission season, the third National Immunization Days (NIDs) for eradication of the fatal disease from the region has been kicked off in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa here on Sunday. The three-day anti-polio campaign targeting approximately 3.2 million children less than five years of age in the province would be vaccinated with Bivalent Oral Polio Vaccine (BOPV) from July 18-20, 2011. Fifteen districts would be fully covered while two districts would have vaccination campaign in their most of the areas barring few high risk union councils, Dr Janbaz Afridi, Deputy Director EPI, KP, informed during the inauguration program of polio vaccination in Peshawar. Campaign in four districts including Mardan, Nowshera (excluding Jalozai), Battagram and Tank have been delayed for one week due to inadequate preparations, while four districts including Bannu, Lakki Marwat, 32 high risk union councils of Peshawar and Jalozai camp of Nowshera are having short interval additional dose campaigns from July 25-27 and Kohat and Hangu from July 22-24, he informed. Those districts to be fully covered including Abbottabad, Bunir, Charsadda, Chitral, Dera Ismail Khan, Dir Upper, Haripur, Karak, Kohistan, Malakand, Mansehra, Shangla, Swabi, Swat, Dir Lower and Torghar. Peshawar is included in the partially covered district with exclusion of 32 union councils that would have short interval additional dose campaign. 9,972 vaccination teams supervised by 1,976 area incharges, lady health workers, other cadre of health staff and teachers would carry out the vaccination campaign for the targeted population in the province. Dr Janbaz further informed that out of the total 59 cases of polio positive in the country during 2011, six cases were reported from three districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; three from Peshawar, two from Torghar and one from district Bannu. Twenty cases of polio positive were reported from Fata including nine from Khyber Agency, three from Mohmand Agency, two each from Orakzai and FR Lakki Marwat, three from FR Kohat and one from Kurrum Agency during the year 2011. Dr Ubaid, team leader WHO said on the occasion that there was no room for any refusal in the region regarding polio drops as it could not be afforded adding that until down at the union council level children below five years of age were found not been adequately immunized against the fatal disease. That was the focus of attention to achieve 95 percent of finger prints of children vaccinate at every union council, as it was both technically and operationally possible to eradicate polio disease, he maintained and urged for coordinated efforts. Dr Munir, provincial secretary health said that the KPK was at critical stage regarding polio positive cases adding that the result of the draft policy approved some six months back that was containing a plan to fight out polio disease was yet to yield satisfactory results. He said that keeping in view cases of refusal ranging in thousands, it was made mandatory to fingerprint 95 percent children at every union council meant to vaccinate that minimum target against polio disease. Earlier, MNA Asma Alamgir, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa PPP (women wing) president, chief guest on the occasion, stressed the need of mass awareness campaign saying that if polio was not eradicated from Pakistan, the country could face issues at the international level. She said that the task force formed for polio eradication at federal level was to extend every support to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to fight out the fatal disease in the region. The Fata was an area confronted with problems to carry out vaccination campaigns there, she said, adding that the year 2011 recorded increasing number of polio positive cases in tribal region. Pakistan Army has been requested to assist the health authorities and staffers concerned to carry out a successful polio eradication campaign in tribal areas of the country, she added.