Govt Halts Anti-Polio Campaign In Wake Of Increased Attacks
To protect the 270,000 polio workers from further attacks, the federal government has issued an order halting the anti-polio drive in the country, Dawn News reported.
The National Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) for polio, Islamabad sent a letter to the provinces on Friday directing them to suspend the campaign.
“After the Peshawar incident, the uncertain and threatening situation for the frontline polio workers has emerged and we need to save the programme from a further major damage,” the letter reads.
The anti-polio campaign began across the country on April 22 and was to last till Friday. But as a huge number of children were missed during the drive’s end, the government also decided for the first time ever, to also suspend The Lot Quality Assurance Sampling (LQAS) –the post-campaign evaluation.
“No further vaccination or catch-up activity will be conducted in any area for this campaign,” the EOC letter added.
Meanwhile, the PM adviser on polio eradication Babar bin Atta, refuted the report on Twitter.
Regarding a story in Dawn today, let me clearly state that National Polio Campaign was a 5 day affair. It started on Monday & Ended Yesterday. The LQAS (survey to check 95% optimum levels) has been stopped as we know the quality is not 95%. Why waste Government/Donor resources?.
— Babar Atta (@babarbinatta) April 27, 2019
However, an official was quoted as saying that LQAS was being used by the World Health Organisation as “a new sampling methodology under the Global Polio Eradication Initiative to document status of anti-polio coverage and areas of weak coverage with statistical reliability.”
In Punjab alone 700,000 children were missed during the last four days of the drive, the official added.
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