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More than 48,000 refuse polio vaccincation in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Health Department recently launched an anti-polio vaccination drive to contain the poliovirus.

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In the recent anti-polio vaccination drive close to 142,962 kids missed their vaccinations, which is about 2.19% of the total target of vaccinations.

Out of the total cases, 48,544 were cases where vaccination was refused willingly and the other 94,418 cases were cases where children could not be found or were not present at their homes when the anto-polio teams arrived.

K-P health minister: first ever comprehensive anti polio drive

A provincial report by the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Health Department notes that approximately 1,129 cases were found in Abbottabad, 1,745 in Bajaur, 9,654 in Bannu, 4,998 in Payan, 2,891 in Karak, 1,443 in Khyber, 3,888 in Kohat, 1,026 in Buner, 4,073 in Charsada, 704 in Chitral, 5,895 in DI Khan, 8,672 in Mardan, 4,289 in Nowshera, 52,835 in Peshawar, 6,166 in Swabi, 4,928 in Swat, 4,511 in Tank district.

Read More: How can Pakistan deal with rising polio cases?

1,855 children in North Waziristan and 2,280 children in South Waziristan could not be vaccinated during the campaign as well. 15 districts in the province experienced refusal cases regarding the polio vaccine. This year so far 22 polio cases have been reported in the province. Provincial data collected by the health department suggests that last year over a million parents in K-P refused vaccination for their children.

K-P government launched an anti-polio campaign across the province on September 20 that started with K-P Chief Secretary Dr Kazim Niaz administering oral vaccine drops to a child. Dr Niaz held that conducting an anti-polio campaign was a struggle amid COVID-19 pandemic but they still managed to pull through and claimed that over 6.4 million children will be administered the polio vaccine.

Read More: Will Prime Minister Imran Khan be able to eradicate polio from Pakistan?

According to K-P Health Minister Taimur Jhagra this was the first comprehensive polio vaccination drive to be conducted and also incorporated areas of South Waziristan which had previously been negated. The provincial government has also increased remuneration of anti-polio workers from Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 to help in the battle against the poliovirus.

GVS News Desk with additional input by other sources