According to a report by the National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) for Polio Eradication, over 32 million children under the age of five have been vaccinated against polio in 130 districts across Pakistan.
As per the report, children (aged between six and 59 months) have also received Vitamin A supplements on Aug 13 during the campaign. The total number of children vaccinated tallies 32,100,802 across the country.
NEOC highlighted that 225,000 trained vaccinators went door-to-door for vaccination, despite the harsh weather. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the pro-vaccinators were provided face masks as well as hand sanitizers for their and the children’s health safety.
“We have managed to achieve impressive coverage despite the challenging context of Covid-19, hot weather, and heavy rainfall. Our valiant trained frontline workers work hard to reach eligible children across the country. Children have also been administered Vitamin A supplements to strengthen their immune system for greater protection against diseases during this campaign. Celebrities, intellectuals, and religious leaders came forward to support the polio eradication efforts,” said Dr. Rana Mohammad Safdar, coordinator of the NEOC for Polio, in a statement.
He went on to say that,
“Still, we have challenges to overcome. Data-driven analysis of challenges at the grass-roots level helps us identify the underlying issues associated with missed children, pockets of refusals as well as reservoirs of poliovirus circulation.”
“Strengthening essential immunization is also important to facilitate the interruption of all poliovirus transmission. The program is prioritizing essential immunization as part of the national agenda. I’m confident that we will be able to bring positive changes and make Pakistan polio-free so that no child remains at risk of contracting polio disease and getting paralyzed for life,” he added while describing the difficulties.
It should be mentioned here that in Pakistan, the polio vaccination campaign was started successfully in every province of the country in July.