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Sub-National Immunisation Days campaign to reach 23.6 million children: NCOC

ISLAMABAD   –  The Sub-National Immunisation Days (SNIDs) campaign will kick off on 2 August to reach more than 23.6 million children in 68 districts of all four provinces, including Islamabad. 

A statement released by the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) said that approximately 179,000 frontline polio workers will go house to house, observing strict standard operating procedures for COVID-19 to ensure children’s protection from the poliovirus.  

“Pakistan has made significant progress over the past months and with the declining polio cases it is important to continue with full force. We need to ensure all eligible children are vaccinated during each campaign to build up their immunity. I urge all parents to welcome the polio teams and accept the polio drops,” said Dr Faisal Sultan, the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health. Dr Faisal Sultan inaugurated the SNIDs campaign today at the National Emergency Operation Center (NEOC) attended by Dr. Rana Safdar, Director General, Health, Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination, Dr Shahzad Baig, National Coordinator, Polio Programme, among others.

“The current gains of the programme are fragile and can easily be reversed, especially during high transmission season when the virus is especially active. This is the most critical time for the programme,” said Dr. Shahzad Baig, Coordinator of the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) of the Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme. He urged the frontline workers and all stakeholders to continue their hard work.

“Immunisation is a right of every child, and it is the safest way to ensure good health of children. Parents and caregivers should play their role to ensure vaccination during the campaign,” said Dr. Shahzad. He appealed to the parents to cooperate with the visiting frontline workers. 

The declining trend of reported polio cases and negative environmental samples indicate a positive epidemiological outlook for polio eradication in Pakistan. As of 29 July, there has only been one case of wild polio reported this year, compared with 66 at the same time last year. The number of positive environmental samples has decreased.

The toll-free Helpline 1166 and 24/7 WhatsApp Polio Helpline 0346-777-65-46 assist parents and caregivers by providing information about vaccines and campaign information.

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