PESHAWAR, Pakistan: The minister of state for national health services Saira Afzal Tarar has appealed to Imran Khan to lead anti-polio campaign in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Imran Khan’s party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is currently in the government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with coalition partners including Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and the Awami Jamhuri Ittehad Pakistan (AJIP).
Talking to media persons in Peshawar on Monday, the minister expressed concern over increase of polio cases in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the federally administrated tribal areas (FATA), saying that 90 percent high risk Union Councils (UCs) belong to these areas.
The official data shows that an overwhelming 96 percent of polio cases reported so far during the current year are from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the FATA.
The state minister said that the federal government is providing vaccine and payment to the Extended Program on Immunization (EPI) staff in time. She said that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is supporting Pakistan in elimination of polio.
Tarar said that besides security risk, the issue of governance and accountability are also creating hurdles in elimination of polio.
Meanwhile, a three-day anti-polio drive was launched in Bara, Jamrud and Landi Kotal areas of Khyber agency to administer polio drops to 128,000 children up to the age of five years on Monday amid tight security measures.
However, the polio vaccination drive was reportedly postponed in Bara tehsil of Khyber agency due to security reasons, depriving 34,000 children to get polio drops.