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Five-day national polio vaccination drive begins in 86 districts

                ISLAMABAD, Aug 22 (APP):A five-day national polio immunisation campaign, targeting to vaccinate to over 43.3 million children under the age of five, has started in 86 districts of the country, spokesman of the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination said Monday.

In a statement, he said a total of 392,000 frontline workers would visit door-to-door to ensure protection to Pakistani children from crippling disease and purging the country from the menace of poliovirus.

The anti-polio campaign, third in a year, has already been started in Karachi and Southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on August 15. The same polio vaccination campaign would be initiated in Balochistan province from August 29.

He said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has already inaugurated the campaign by administering vaccination drops to children. Minister for National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination Abdul Qadir Patel praised the services of frontline workers and said all available resources were being utilized for eradicating the deadly disease from the country.

Provincial governments and district administrations were actively working for the success of the campaign. He urged parents to play their proactive role in making the campaign a success. Children should be vaccinated against polio during the campaign.

The infection typically spreads in areas with poor water and sewage sanitation; wild poliovirus was found in this type of environment and puts unvaccinated people at risk.  Access to vaccines was mandatory for all children to prevent the virus, he added. Helpline 1166 was providing health-related information to the parents. Through the helpline citizens were able to obtain immediate assistance on their queries and concerns related to polio and routine immunization services. He said parents were being guided on the toll-free phone line about health issues.

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