Anti-polio drive in Balochistan’s refugee camps underway


QUETTA (INP) Anti-polio campaign is underway in various Afghan refugee camps in Balochistan on second day, Tuesday. According to authorities of Emergency Operation Centre for polio, the drive is in progress in the refugee camps located in Jangal, Posti, Chagai and Leja.
The campaign has set a target to vaccinate 6830 Afghan children and will continue till August 22.
Attacks on polio teams in Balochistan and other parts of the country have complicated vaccination drives for health authorities. In January at least 15 persons were killed in a blast outside an anti-polio centre in Quetta.
Attacks in a city impact health department’s activities in other cities as well. An attack on an anti-polio team in Karachi in April martyred seven policemen resultantly, a drive, ongoing in Multan was deferred for as many as seven days.
However, number of polio cases has declined in the recent years in Pakistan. Year 2015 witnessed 54 cases in the country which was an 80 percent fall from the earlier figures.
Reach of polio teams to remote areas in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of the country was supported by successful Operation Zarb-e-Azb that was launched in mid 2014 to eradicate militancy.
At least 98 percent of children were vaccinated against the crippling virus in FATA in March which was a big leap for health authorities compared with previous years when teams could not reach different areas owing to threats and insurgency.