Pakistan is set to resume polio vaccination on 20 July, months after the effort was stopped due to attacks on humanitarian workers and the pandemic of the syndrome of congestion of the health system of the country.

Anti-polio campaign should last three days and is aimed at vaccination of about 800 000 children, officials said.

National authorities have asked the police to ensure the safety of polio workers.

Rana Muhammad Safdar, who oversees polio immunization in Pakistan’s efforts, said workers will adhere to social distancing regulations in conducting its operations.

Pakistan’s chief army General Qamar Javed Bajwa said in June, Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist bill gates that, despite the challenge COVID-19, the government plans to restart vaccinations across the country.

The bill and Melinda gates Foundation is providing assistance to Pakistan and other countries battle disease.

Polio is a severe, life-threatening disease caused by the polio virus. Pakistan, neighboring Afghanistan and Nigeria are the only countries in the world where polio remains endemic.

Some experts blame the new cases in Pakistan for the failure of parents to send their children to receive anti-polio vaccine.

Pakistan in December 2019 launched the five-day vaccination campaign as the number of people affected by dangerous diseases has grown to more than 100 per year.

Before the start of the pandemic coronavirus overcrowded hospitals in the country, a series of attacks on anti-polio workers have hindered the delivery of assistance.

The Taliban and other insurgents regularly staged attacks on polio teams and the security forces accompanying them. The militants claim, the anti-polio drive is part of a Western plot to sterilize children or collect intelligence.

In February in the explosion of a roadside bomb attack on a police vehicle in Northwest Pakistan, killing one policeman and wounding three others. Police officers were assigned to accompany the health workers in the polio vaccination campaign in the region.

In January this year, unidentified attackers shot and killed two women anti-polio workers in Northwest Pakistan.

At the end of last year, the Taliban in Pakistan shot dead two police officers that were deployed to protect teams of polio vaccinations in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

As she prepares to resume the vaccination program, the country is still battling with the epidemic of the coronavirus, which has infected more than 253,000 people were killed and at least 5,320.

With reporting by the AP, Radio Mashal, Reuters and Dawn


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