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Pakistan launches 3-day polio campaign
By Ashfaq Yusufzai and Syed Ansar Abbas
PESHAWAR – The Pakistani government July 16 launched a three-day anti-polio campaign during which it plans to vaccinate 34m children up to 5 years old, an official said.
A total of 5m children will receive oral polio vaccine (OPV) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the adjacent Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Dr. Jan Baz Afridi, deputy director of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, told Central Asia Online July 16.
About 318,000 will not receive OPV in North and South Waziristan agencies in FATA because of Taliban threats against vaccination workers, he said, adding the Taliban were endangering children’s lives.
Medics will vaccinate children in even the most remote areas, including along the Afghan and Chinese borders, he said. They have established about 20 vaccination points along the Afghan border, he added.
The government has released Rs. 35m (US $370,000) to union councils to ensure publicity for the campaign.