QUETTA: The Emergency Operation Cell (EOC) Balochistan, established to eradicate the crippling virus, claimed to have reduced the number of polio vaccination refusals by more than 91 per cent in the province during the recent anti-polio campaign.
Dr. Aftab Kakar, an officer at the EOC, informed that parents of 12,607 children below the age of five years were convinced by polio volunteers, religious scholars and officials to administer polio drops to these kids.
The provincial health department launched three-day anti polio drive in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan from November 10 to 12 in the province.
Dr. Syed Saif ur Rehman, the chief of EOC informed media that more than 2.4 million children were administered polio drops during the campaign.
Dr Kakar, claimed that during the recent immunisation campaign, 448 families refused to vaccinate their children in Quetta block. The official, however, had no information about the number of kids in these families.
He further said that the number of families refusing to vaccinate their children was 5,015 while 4,567 families were successfully convinced during the recent campaign.
The Balochistan health department formed committees to convince the parents and bring an end to refusals in the province.
The committees comprised religious scholars, government officials and volunteers to convince the parents. “The committees were established to end chronic refusals,” Dr. Rehman told media.
Back in September, during a meeting to review the investigation of newly emerged polio case in Quetta, an official of Unicef’s Communication Network (COMNet) had told EOC that at least 4,443 cases of refusal vaccination refusal were recorded in Balochistan’s Quetta, Pishin and Killa Abdullah districts.
Out of the 4,443 refusal cases, around 1,762 cases were reported in Zarghon, 1,219 in Quetta’s Chiltan Town, 719 in Pishin Tehsil, 133 in Karezat Teshil of Pishin district while 159 cases were recorded in Chaman Town which borders Afghanistan, and 153 cases in Tehsil Killah Abdullah of Killah Abdullah district, the COMNet official had said.
Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two countries in the world which have not been able to eradicate the polio-virus while no case of polio virus was reported in Nigeria over a year.
The government had declared a polio emergency throughout the province to root out the crippling virus from the region.
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