ISLAMABAD, 23 February 2022 –The first nationwide polio campaign in the country for the year 2022 launched today, aiming to reach more than 43 million children under five. Dr Faisal Sultan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, launched the campaign at Rural Health Center (RHC) Tarlai Islamabad. A workforce of 339,521 polio frontline staff will provide polio vaccines at every doorstep.
The vaccination campaign already kicked off in six districts of South Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on 21 February to ensure extensive focus and monitoring in the high-priority area, and on 28 February in the remaining parts of the country.
“Government of Pakistan remains committed to eradicating polio and focusing on well-coordinated efforts at both the federal and provincial level to realize the dream of making Pakistan a polio-free country,” said Dr. Faisal. He also stressed the important role of parents and caregivers towards the success of repeated vaccination campaigns highlighting, “It’s every Pakistani’s national duty to ensure that their own children, as well as children around them, are administered the polio vaccine in each campaign.”
On January 27, Pakistan marked a major milestone with no wild polio case reported in the last 12 months. There is still an imminent risk of poliovirus to any unvaccinated child across the border as children are moving with families. Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two countries left with the poliovirus.
“Currently, poliovirus transmission in the country is the lowest it has ever been. Wild polio virus remains in the environment in certain districts in KP, posing a threat to resurgence in cases. We are calling all parents and caregivers to cooperate with vaccinators. No child is safe until all children are vaccinated,” said Dr Shahzad Baig, National Coordinator, National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC).
"Polio vaccine is safe, and it helps to build immunity among children against the poliovirus. The repeated polio vaccination campaigns are imperative for building immunity among children and preventing possible death or lifelong paralysis," he added.
It is pertinent to mention that the Polio Programme is working in partnership with various stakeholders including communities, local influencers, pediatric and medical associations, media, social activists, religious leaders, the Pakistan Cricket Board, among many others.
The toll-free Helpline 1166 and 24/7 WhatsApp Polio Helpline 0346-777-65-46 will be available to assist parents and caregivers by providing information about vaccines and campaign information.
Note to Editors:
Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus that mainly affects children under the age of five. It invades the nervous system and can cause paralysis or even death. While there is no cure for polio, vaccination is the only effective way to protect our children from the crippling disease. Every time children under the age of five get the polio vaccine, they are more protected. Such repeated immunizations have protected millions of children from polio and made all countries besides Afghanistan and Pakistan polio-free.
For further information, please contact:
Mr. Zulfiqar Babakhel, Media Manager, NEOC, 03459165937,