Nationwide anti-polio campaign
- Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan tweets about nationwide campaign against polio, which begins today.
- Campaign will focus on vaccinating more than 38 million children under five years of age.
- Over 270,000 workers will go door-to-door to ensure that every child receives vaccines.
Dubai: A nationwide door-to door polio vaccination campaign begins in Pakistan today and Prime Minister Imran Khan is on a mission to make the nation polio-free.
On his official Twitter account, @ImranKhanPTI, he posted: “As the nationwide campaign against polio begins across Pakistan, I call on the nation to step forward, take responsibility and make Pakistan #polio-free. #PakFightsPolio”
The last anti-polio campaign of 2018 will focus on vaccinating more than 38 million children under five years of age, as stated in a report published in Dawn, a Pakistan-based newspaper. During the campaign, over 270,000 workers will go door-to-door to ensure that every child receives vaccines.
The start of the campaign and Khan’s tweet has left social media users in the country feeling motivated, with most of them hoping that the campaign is a success.
Tweep @alifaisalkhanp1 wrote: “When there is a will, there is a way.”
@Shah_Mutbahir tweeted: “It is vital that members of the public cooperate with polio teams and get their children vaccinated. Let’s all work together to eliminate this crippling disease from Pakistan.”
Tweep @SofiaJameel wrote: “Let’s start erasing poliovirus from Pakistan! #PakFightsPolio”
@abulia_dr tweeted: “We can not eradicate polio from Pakistan unless the Pakistanis are honest to themselves. I request the public in general to respect and cooperate with the health visitors working in this weather to save your child’s future.”
Tweep @Jhon_Hoffman added: “Insha Allah (if God willing) Pakistan will be polio-free.”
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), poliomyelitis, or polio, is a highly infectious viral disease, which mainly affects young children. The virus is transmitted person-to-person, mainly through the fecal-oral route or via contaminated water or food. It can invade the nervous system and cause paralysis. There is no cure for polio, it can only be prevented by immunisation.
However, as a result of the global effort to eradicate the disease, only 22 cases of polio were reported globally in 2017, out of which eight were recorded in Pakistan, as stated by www.endpolio.com.pk, the official website for the country’s anti-polio campaign.
Pakistan’s Polio Eradication Programme was initiated in 1994 and since then, there has been a drastic decline in polio cases in the country. From almost 20,000 cases reporter every year before the campaign was launched, the number has dropped to only eight last year. Despite that, the country is still classified as one of three polio-endemic countries of the world, along with Afghanistan and Nigeria, according to WHO.
Additionally, health workers administrating polio drops in the country have come under attack in recent years by militants. In January this year, gunmen shot and killed two women working on a polio eradication campaign in the southwestern city of Quetta. In July 2017, a health worker was shot dead in the northwestern province.
In 2015, a suicide bomber killed 15 people outside a vaccination centre in Quetta. A report published in The Nation, a Pakistan-based newspaper, states that more than 100 people have been killed in such attacks since December 2012.
Tweep @khurram_dogar posted: “Sir, provide proper security to polio workers, too.”