Federal Minister for Health Dr Nadeem Jan inaugurates nationwide polio vaccination campaign; reaffirms Pakistan’s vow to eradicate poliovirus.
Islamabad, October 1, 2023 – Federal Minister for Health Dr Nadeem Jan has inaugurated a nationwide polio vaccination campaign to immunize over 43 million children under five in the country against the paralyzing poliovirus.
“Every child has the right to live life free from the threat of disability caused by polio and we will not rest until all children are safe from it,” Dr Jan said at the inauguration at the Ministry of Health where he administered polio drops to children.
The health minister said the hard work of vaccinators, sustained government commitment, community ownership and support of eradication partners has helped bring Pakistan much closer to eradication that ever before, and it is imperative to keep this excellent momentum going.
He added: “Polio has no cure, only the vaccine can provide lifelong protection. I urge parents and caregivers to realize how important this vaccine is for their children’s health and make sure that they open their doors to vaccinators and get children immunized.”
Over 43 million children under the age of five will be vaccinated during this second nationwide campaign of the year.
The campaign is being held in phases to reach all children in the country. It is being held in Killa Abdullah and Chaman from September 25 to October 1 where eligible children are being given injectable polio vaccine along with the oral vaccine to boost immunity. In the rest of the country, the campaign will begin on October 2.
Federal Health Secretary Iftikhar Shallwani said: “Polio has harmed our children for far too long, therefore, eradication is a national cause for all of us. Pakistan has made incredible progress against polio, and we are working hard every day to make the country polio-free.”
Pakistan has reported two polio cases so far this year and 32 positive environmental samples.
Note for the Editor:
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 immunisations have protected millions of children from polio, allowing almost all countries in the world to become polio-free, besides the two endemic countries of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
For further information, please contact:
Mr. Zulfiqar Babakhel
Media Manager, NEOC