ISLAMABAD: Provincial health departments launch campaign against polio and measles in flood-hit areas.
According to details, there are serious threats of epidemic of infectious diseases in the flood-hit areas. For this reason, the provincial health departments have launched anti-polio and anti-measles campaigns in the areas hit by the flash floods.
The Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) has already dispatched liberal quantities of measles and polio vaccines to the flood-hits of the country. An EPI Punjab official told that infectious diseases are expected to spread after any natural calamity.
The EPI official further said that in the areas affected by recent flash floods, even if, one child were to contract measles, then he could infect many others in his surroundings. However, his family will be at the highest risk.
He said, “In emergency situations there are no proper hygiene and sanitation arrangements, as families live in congested tents and share one bed, blanket, pillow, towel or glass – putting themselves at risk of contracting infections from one other.”
The EPI official said the present rate of regular immunisation coverage in Pakistan was close to 65 per cent. He claims that this is below satisfactory level by any means. “Therefore, during natural disasters children who have not been vaccinated against infectious diseases could be a potential source of its spreading,” he added.
Nevertheless, Pakistan has managed to bring measles and polio cases under control this year, he stated, while ading, thanks to some quality campaigns. He maintained that these records need to be improved and sustained by taking anticipatory measures during natural disasters, such as current flash floods, which is the time when measles and polio spread the most.