22.8 million children vaccinated against polio in Punjab

By Our Correspondent
March 04, 2024
A lady health worker administers polio drops to students at school during a polio eradicating campaign, in Lahore. — Online/File

LAHORE:The Punjab government wrapped up its second national immunisation polio eradication campaign of the year on Sunday in 35 districts, except Rawalpindi, says the Punjab Emergency Operations Centre.


However, the campaign has been extended in Rawalpindi for one day due to extensive rains, which hampered the work of polio teams as they were unable to complete their coverage targets.

The district had set up a target of vaccinating 1.05 million children in the seven-day campaign. However, the rain continued to lash the City with regular intervals forcing the authorities to extend polio campaign for one day till today (Monday).

In the campaign so far, 22.8 million children have been vaccinated in the province. Lahore topped the list of most vaccinated children with over million vaccinations till Saturday. So far, 1.6 million guest children have also been vaccinated. On Sunday, the Coordinator of the Emergency Operations Centre and head of the polio eradication programme in Punjab Mr Khizer Afzaal directed the district health officials to compile final statistics at the earliest so that the process of polio campaign’s quality assurance could be started. The polio programme head praised polio workers performance saying that the frontline workers were going extra mile in populated and hard to reach areas with a singular goal to vaccinate children and eradicate polio from Pakistan.

The second National Immunisation Days (NIDs) of 2024 commenced on February 26 (Monday) all over the province. In mega districts, including Lahore, Rawalpindi and Faisalabad, the campaign was scheduled to continue for seven days. While in other districts, the campaign lasted five days.

Over 200,000 polio workers and supervisors participated in the drive to immunise 23.30 million children under the age of five against polio. This includes: 16,605 area in-charges, 3,991 union council medical officers, over 84,884 mobile polio team members, 4,884 fixed team members and over 2,664 transit team members.

Punjab Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) had deployed experts from all areas to facilitate implementation of the polio campaign in priority areas.

Although Punjab is polio-free since October 2020, movement of population between core reservoirs and Punjab is one of the major causes of virus importation in Punjab. Therefore, Punjab is taking concrete steps to improve coverage of high-risk mobile population at transit points.

Multiple doses of polio drops offer the best protection against polio virus and every single child needs to be vaccinated in order achieve population immunity and prevent virus circulation if we are to eradicate polio from infected zones.