Anti-polio campaign begins in Khyber, Waziristan

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PESHAWAR: All arrangements have been made for the seven-day anti-polio drive being launched in Khyber Agency today, an official said Agency Surgeon Dr Niaz Afridi told Media that after successful campaign, the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) of the Agency Polio Eradication Committee (APEC) had decided to start polio vaccination drive in Khyber Agency from January 23.
“About 224,466 children below five years age will be vaccinated in the Khyber Agency,” he added.He said the EOC also looked at the preparedness of the concerned staff in Khyber Agency.
A campaign was launched on January 16 across the country, including all tribal agencies. However, polio campaign in Khyber Agency was delayed due to administrative reasons.The official said the APEC held a meeting at Khyber House, attended by additional political agents, agency surgeons, representatives from WHO, UNICEF and security agencies to decide the launch of campaign in Khyber Agency on January 23.
He also thanked the community elders, Maliks and tribesmen for extending unconditional support to the polio eradication initiatives of the government in the agency.Dr Niaz Afridi said special jirgas of all community elders and local Maliks were convened in January, who announced support to the programme. “During the APEC meeting, the additional political agent assured partners that security would be provided to the teams during the campaign,” he said.
However, he said the National Control Laboratory for Biological in Islamabad had been issued test reports of vaccines collected from Khyber Agency on December 21, 2016 following some issues related to vaccine safety.The test results show that no toxic, bacterial or fungal contamination was found in vaccine. The collected vaccine passed all the relevant tests and was declared safe.
The campaign in Wana Subdivision of South Waziristan Agency will start today as well. Active campaign will continue for five days from Monday to Friday, followed by catch-up of missed children, under the supervision and assistance of political agents, commissioners and security forces.Due to ongoing community mobilization and validation of micro-plans, anti-polio campaign in Khyber Agency and Wana subdivision of South Waziristan was postponed for a week.