Pakistan immunizes 2.9 million children against polio and measles

The World Health Organization recently announced that a combined polio and measles campaign in Pakistan has reached more than 2.9 million children ranging in age from nine months to 10 years of age.

The campaign was initiated in eight districts in the Sindh province as an emergency response to a major measles outbreak. Dr. Guido Sabatinelli, the WHO's country representative for Pakistan, said that a total of 1.3 million vaccine doses have been administered by healthcare workers, according to

Sabatinelli also said that the WHO is working with provincial governments to develop a series of emergency and long-term solutions in case of similar outbreaks. The WHO also wants to ensure that provisional governments make immunization coverage accessible to every child.

The WHO and the United Nations Children's Fund currently support Pakistan's Expanded Program of Immunization, which aims to protect infants from childhood diseases such as tuberculosis, poliomyelitis, diphtheria, pertussis, hepatitis B and meningitis. A single EPI center can cater to a population of approximately 30,000, reports.

Pakistan expects to initiate further measles and polio drives despite objections from Islamic fundamentalists. District Coordination Officer Usman Ahmad Chaudhry recently told assistant commissioners to coordinate with deputy district health officers on future campaigns. He also said that it is compulsory for the public to cooperate with vaccination teams.