Afghan and Pakistani health authorities planned Anti-polio drive along border

Pakistan, Afghanistan only countries left on polio-endemic nations list

Quetta, Dec 19: Afghan and Pakistani health authorities have launched a three-day polio vaccination campaign in their border areas on Monday, a media report said.

The campaign along Spin Buldak and Vesh Mandi would be launched across Balochistan, during which anti-polio and Vitamin-A drops would be administrated to the children under the age of five, Dawn news reported.

A meeting of Pakistani and Afghan health officials in this regard was held in the border area.

Pakistan’s Qila Abdullah District Health Officer Rasheed Nasar led the delegation which included officials from the World Health Organisation and Unicef.

Both Pakistani and Afghan officials attended the meeting without crossing the border.

“It was the first such meeting ever witnessed on the Pak-Afghan border,” a senior official of the health department said.

The officials of the health and other departments concerned from both sides discussed launching of the anti-polio campaign on both sides of the border.

It was decided that Pakistani and Afghan health workers would administer anti-polio drops to the children under the age of five who would cross the border during the three days.

Meanwhile, Balochistan Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) coordinator Syed Faisal Ahmed said all arrangements were completed for vaccinating over 2.4 million children during the campaign.

Ahmed said 9,287 teams would be deployed for the campaign.

“We have adopted strict security measures to prevent any untoward incident. Frontier Corps, police and Levies personnel will be deployed to protect the polio workers,” he said.

He also added that religious scholars would participate in the campaign to persuade the parents who normally refuse to allow vaccination of their children.

–IANS

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