A three day anti polio campaign was launched in Quetta and other six districts of Balochistan on Monday morning. According to Health Department of Balochistan around 850,000 children below the age of five years would be administered polio vaccine in Quetta, Pishin, Killa Abdullah, Sherani, Zhob and Lasbela districts of the province.
Security was tightened in Quetta and other districts keeping in view the past attacks on polio vaccination teams in Balochistan while police and levies personnel provided security to the teams. Sources in health department told Dawn that Balochistan government decided to provide polio drops to children in all thirty two districts of the province. Four new cases of polio virus have been detected in Quetta and other parts of the province this year. Balochistan remained polio-free for last sixteen months owing to joint efforts by health department, Unicef and World Health Organisation (WHO).
However, two months back a polio cases was discovered in Maizai Addah area of Killa Abdullah district which borders with Afghanistan. According to sources in Unicef, the minor girl had come to Balochistan from Sindh province. Over 70 polio cases were reported in Balochistan during the year 2011. The then provincial government had doubled its efforts to reduce the cases. Sources in health department stated that refusal was a major problem behind the recent cases in the province. -dawn