The special polio campaign for the month of August in 46 districts across Pakistan has been completed successfully. Initial data on campaign coverage indicates that a total of 7.1 million children have been successfully administered polio drops and protected against the polio virus.

According to a press release issued from National Emergency Operation Center, “dedicated efforts of polio teams during this final sprint against the virus has enabled the Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme to reach millions of vulnerable children with much needed vaccines.”

The press release further stated that this was first time in the programme’s history that a FIR was not lodged and no force was used on citizens during the polio campaign. As a result, community members warmly welcomed polio workers and allowed them to vaccinate their children.

While the campaign was launched with full force in the provinces, proactive social media engagement also helped the programme counter any rising propaganda and misconceptions across social media platforms. Such social media engagement is also unprecedented for the programme, with up to 48 pages of anti-vaccine content blocked instantly.

The press release further shared that out of 46 districts where the campaign was implemented, the performance and leadership of 6 Deputy Commissioners from districts Peshawar, Swabi, Lahore, Hyderabad, Quetta and Nowshera were outstanding. Meanwhile, support of the Pakistan Army and other institutions were found to be commendable and highly appreciated by the programme. 

In a statement, the Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Polio Eradication, Babar Bin Atta, shared that these polio campaigns are of crucial significance in Pakistan’s journey towards the finish line of polio eradication. He further emphasized that the programme is focused on maintaining campaign quality and coverage of any missed child during each and every campaign.

 Mr. Atta further emphasized in his statement that the Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme will continue to carry out vaccination campaigns without the use of force or coercion, and will instead focus on trust building between communities and the programme to succeed in the collective national goal of polio eradication.

Note to Editors:

Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by poliovirus mainly affecting children under the age of five years. It invades the nervous system, and can cause paralysis or even death. While there is no cure for polio, vaccination is the most effective way to protect children from this crippling disease. Each time a child under the age of five is vaccinated, their protection against the virus is increased. Repeated immunizations have protected millions of children from polio, allowing almost all countries in the world to become polio free.