Pakistan to start anti-polio drive on Monday

Islamabad, Feb 15 (IANS) Pakistan is set to begin a three-day nationwide polio immunisation campaign on Monday, the media reported.

Thousands of teams have been formed for the drive against the crippling disease with hopes to eliminate the virus this year, official sources said.

According to a UNICEF health official, there was an at least 85 percent reduction in polio cases recorded in 2015 and with this kind of progress, Pakistan can be declared a non-epidemic country for polio virus this year, Dawn online reported.

In 2014, Pakistan recorded 305 polio cases.

Around 292,000 children from Khyber Agency, North Waziristan and South Waziristan missed immunisation in 2014 due to inaccessibility to these areas.

Polio vaccination has always remained a challenge for health officials in the country for they have to convince parents, who are sometimes reluctant because of their conservative views.

Special counters would be established at public parks, railway stations, bus and wagon stands, airports and transit points to administer anti-polio drops to children to ensure that no child is left without the vaccine.

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