A polio eradication campaign was launched amid tight security in Quetta’s 18 union councils on Wednesday. More than 400,000 children below the age of five years would be administered the polio vaccine in Quetta.
Dr Saifur Rehman, the Coordinator of Polio Emergency Operation Center, said the Balochistan government has ensured provision of security to all health workers and other volunteers engaged in provision of anti-polio drops to children.
Two days earlier, volunteers in Quetta had refused to perform their duties owing to delayed payments. Later, Health Secretary Noorul Haq Baloch held negotiations with volunteers and convinced them to participate in the campaign. The second round of the anti-polio drive would be launched from May 25 in the city. Sources in the health department told DawnNews that 1.2 million children were being administered anti-polio drops in all eight districts of Balochistan where currently the campaign is underway. “No hindrance in the campaign would be tolerated,” Dr Saifur Rehman said.
A health official, who requested anonymity, told Dawn that the anti-polio campaigns kicked off in six union councils of Zhob on Wednesday. Moreover, amid tight security, the anti-polio campaign went underway in Quetta and seven other districts of Balochistan. The districts include Killa Saifullah, Zhob, Lasbella, Sherani etc. During the current year, three polio cases have been reported from Balochistan. The provincial government has already declared an emergency to eradicate the crippling virus in the province.