A five-day supplementary anti-polio campaign started on Monday (today) in some 12 districts across the province of Sindh amid strict security measurements.
Official sources told Media News that the campaign would cover at least 2.498 million children in major parts of the province including Karachi, Sukkur, Ghotki, Khairpur, Larkana, Shikarpur, Jacobabad, Kashmore, Kamber, Dadu, Nawabshah, Sanghar and Naushahro Feroze districts. Similarly, a three-day special anti-polio campaign started in certain areas of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), frontier regions and in eight districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK).
More than 9,65,000 children in FATA and 1,99,000 children under the age of five in KPK would be vaccinated during the poliovirus campaign. Strict security measures were taken to prevent any untoward incident during the campaigns as militant groups often attack polio teams as they see vaccination campaigns as a cover for espionage. There are also long-running rumours about polio drops causing infertility.
Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two countries left in the world, where the poliovirus is still persistent. According to the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), poliovirus is close to an end worldwide since in 1988 there were 350,000 cases of polio in the world and by the year2014, only 359.