Medriva

More than a week after officials discovered the third case of polio this year in Pakistan’s northwestern border region with Afghanistan, the country has launched a new anti-polio campaign.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan- Pakistan launched a new anti-polio campaign on Monday, more than a week after the country’s third case of the year was discovered in the northwest border region with Afghanistan.

The year’s third campaign will last five days and attempt to immunize 40 million youngsters under the age of five across the country.

Pakistan has already initiated two anti-polio programs this year, in January and March, after only one case of polio last year, raising expectations that the disease will be eradicated in the country. The first lawsuit of the year was filed in April.

The country’s polio programme spokesperson, Dr. Shahbaz Baig, encouraged parents to join the door-to-door campaign with polio workers.

Anti-polio initiatives in Pakistan are regularly hampered by violence. Terrorists from the Islamic State frequently attack polio workers and the officers assigned to protect them, falsely accusing them of seeking to sterilise children in Western countries.

During the March campaign, a female polio worker was shot and killed on her way home from giving vaccines in northern Pakistan. A police officer in the country’s northwest was shot and killed in January while protecting polio vaccine workers.

Polio is a disease that causes severe paralysis in children, and Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only countries still working to eradicate it.

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