Pakistan kicks off nationwide anti-polio vaccination campaign

Pakistan has kicked off a week-long nationwide anti-polio vaccination campaign in an effort to prevent more children from falling victim to the crippling disease, according to government health officials.

During the week-long anti-polio campaign, millions of children under the age of five would be administered polio drops, Xinhua news agency quoted the Minister for National Health Services Abdul Qadir Patel as saying on Monday.

Thousands of anti-polio workers will be engaged in the drive to inoculate the children in all four provinces of the country, with special focus on children living in the areas affected by the recent floods.

The vaccination will be carried out in 28 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and 14 in Punjab.

While around 6.5 million children in Sindh will be inoculated and over 1.7 million in Balochistan province.

Pakistan recorded 20 cases of polio so far this year, and all of them were detected in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, according to government officials.

Pakistan is one of the two remaining countries in the world where polio is still categorised as an endemic viral infection,the other one being Afghanistan.

In 2021, there was one documented case in the country and 84 in 2020.

In 2019, there were a record 147 cases.

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