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Balochistan govt reviews polio reduction campaigns

A health worker gives a polio vaccine to a child in Lahore, Pakistan, Monday, April 9, 2018. A Pakistani official said authorities launched a new polio vaccination drive, aiming to reach 38.7 million children under the age of 5. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

QUETTA: While Balochistan reported 26 of the total 84 polio cases detected last year in the country, so far in the seven months of this year only one case has been found in the province and across Pakistan.

“The situation has improved considerably due to effective anti-polio campaigns in the province and cooperation of the people,” said the provincial coordinator of emergency operations centre, Rashid Razzaq, while briefing a meeting of senior government officials and representatives of Unicef and World Health Organisation (WHO) on Balochitan’s fight against the virus here on Wednesday.

The meeting, which was presided over by Chief Secretary Mathar Niaz Rana, reviewed outcome of the last polio immunisation campaign held across the province.

The chief secretary said complete eradication of polio from the province was top priority of the Balochistan government for which all available resources were being utilised. “The government of Balochistan will continue to strive hard to eradicate polio from the province as soon as possible,” he said.

Since small negligence could result in lifelong disability, he said, all relevant officials should consider it an important mission to cover all children, aged five or less, during the vaccination campaigns.

The chief secretary appreciated the efforts of deputy commissioners and local administration in eradicating polio and laid emphasis on better coordination for an effective vaccination drive.

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