The first anti polio campaign of the year 2021 is beginning today (Monday) across Balochistan.
The Chief of Emergency Operation Cell (EOC), Rashid Razzaq announced the campaign would be carried out in all 33 districts of Balochistan from Monday.
Over 2.4 million children under the age of five years are expected to be administered anti-polio drops in all districts of Balochistan, Mr. Razzaq said.
The decision of latest campaign has come after Balochistan reported 26 cases cases out of 84 throughout the country in previous year, 16 of which were reported only from Quetta, the capital city. The other 10 were reported in Pishin and Killa Abdullah, the neighbouring districts of Quetta.
According to the health department sources: When it comes to the presence of poliovirus, the aforementioned three districts are considered as high-risk areas.
Security has also been tightened across Balochistan to avoid the occurrence of any untoward incident during the campaign. In the past, polio workers have been targeted in various parts of Balochistan, mainly Quetta and Pishin. Polio teams have also been targeted in various major cities of Pakistan.
Last year in April, Polio vaccination campaign in Pakistan halted due to multiple attacks on polio workers in Lahore, Peshawar and Balochistan, which came after a hoax video that claimed children were becoming ill after the immunisations.
The disruption last year suspended the campaign, due to which 2.5 million children were to administrated missed the initial intensive vaccine drive.
Attacks on polio teams are not uncommon in Pakistan. Religious groups perceive the immunisation effort as part of a Western plot to sterilise Pakistani children.
Authorities blame the rise in polio cases on parents who refuse to get their children vaccinated. Whereas, the religious propaganda and government’s poor management are said to be the underlying reasons behind the presence of the crippling virus.