LAHORE: The first National Immunization Days (NIDs) of 2024 will commence on Monday (today) all over Punjab, confirmed the head of the polio programme and Punjab Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) Coordinator Khizer Afzaal on Sunday.

In Lahore, Rawalpindi and Faisalabad, the campaign will continue for seven days. While in other districts the campaign will last five days.

Over 200,000 polio workers and supervisors will participate in the drive to immunize 22.50 million children under the age of five against polio. This includes 16605 area in-charges, 3991 union council medical officers, over 84884 mobile polio team members, 4884 fixed team members and over 2664 transit team members.

The EOC coordinator directed the districts to make polio campaign a success saying the first national campaign of the year will lay a strong foundation for a polio free year and eventually eradication of the virus. “It is imperative that we start the year with a strong campaign and continue momentum against the virus. Amid polio virus circulation in other provinces, Punjab has not reported any polio case since October 2020 which is an achievement of the programme.

The positivity rate of polio environmental samples has also gone down by 1 per cent. After successful implementation of quality polio campaigns, samples from all environmental sites have been turned negative. However, movement of population from core reservoirs to Punjab was one the major causes of virus importation in Punjab”, cautioned the EOC coordinator.

The Punjab polio programme head praised polio workers saying that program’s health workers on the forefront continue to reach children in some of the hardest to reach areas with the singular goal to reach every last child with the polio vaccine and ensure a polio-free world for future generations.

He also cautioned against them against complacency as country could not afford to let polio virus return to the province.

Afzaal ensure pledged that government of Punjab through health department was ensuring the safety and security of our frontline heroes. “Government and health department have pledged to make all efforts to provide essential support to workers and facilitate them during unforeseen challenges”, he ensured.

The EOC coordinator reiterated that multiple doses of polio drops offered the best protection against polio virus, highlighting the need to vaccinate every single child to achieve population immunity and prevent virus circulation. “Parents must welcome polio teams whenever they come to knock at their doorsteps.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024


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