Lack of sufficient staff and proper coordination between the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa health department and administrations of southern districts are hampering immunisation of the displaced children arriving from North Waziristan Agency.
Officials said that all children coming from North Waziristan Agency should be vaccinated on their arrival by deploying sufficient staff in Bannu and other districts. “We need to repeatedly vaccinate the children who have not been vaccinated since June 2012. Their immunization is of utmost importance because there is a severe outbreak of polio in North Waziristan,” a vaccinator said. North Waziristan has recorded 50 of the 83 polio cases in the country so far. An estimated 160,000 children have been un vaccinated since Taliban banned immunization 20 months ago.
These children posed serious threats to the children in host communities in different cities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The health department in Bannu would earlier give oral polio vaccine (OPV) to children under 10 years, but three days ago it had launched general vaccination of people regardless of age on the recommendations of the World Health Organisation. -dawn