Published On: Tue, Jan 21st, 2014
Published in Category: Peshawar

KPK to launch anti-polio drive in February, to hire 12,500 PTI workers

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PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Monday decided to launch anti-polio campaign with a renewed vigour next month for which it will acquire services of over 12,000 workers of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.

Younus Zaheer, the focal person for the anti-polio campaign, claimed Peshawar will be made polio free in three months.

He said that a massive campaign will be launched in the first week of February for which services of 12,500 PTI workers will be acquired.

In the meanwhile, the campaign which was to start from Sunday was postponed due to security concerns.

Last week, the World Health Organization dubbed Peshawar as the largest reservoir of endemic polio viruses in the world.

The international group called for urgent action to boost vaccination to prevent the crippling disease.

According to the WHO, 83 out of 91 polio cases in the country during the last year are genetically linked to the poliovirus circulating actively in Peshawar. Moreover, 12 out of the total 13 cases reported during the previous year from Afghanistan are also directly linked to Peshawar.

Since For the last four years, samples of sewage water from throughout the country are periodically tested for presence of poliovirus in the environment. 86 samples of sewage water were collected from different locations of Peshawar since the last four years, and 72 of these samples have shown the presence of the highly contagious and paralytic wild poliovirus strain.

During the last 6 months, all the samples collected from various locations of Peshawar have shown presence of the highly contagious wild poliovirus strain in the environment.

Pakistan is also the only polio-endemic country in the world where polio cases rose from 2012 to 2013. There were 91 cases last year but only 58 the year before.