Shehbaz kicks off three-day polio eradication campaign.

ISLAMABAD -- Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif kicked off a three-day nationwide polio eradication campaign by administering polio drops to children at a ceremony held here on Sunday.

Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two countries in the world where polio continues to cripple children as its virus affects the nervous system of children ultimately leading to paralysis.

Over 44 million children will be administered polio drops during the campaign.

In nine districts of Hyderabad division and seven districts of Karachi division, the anti-polio campaign will be launched from Jan 23 to 27 due to local government elections.

In seven districts of southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa the campaign was conducted from Jan 2 to 4.

Over 44m children will be administered polio drops during the drive

Addressing the ceremony, the prime minister said that the drive was being launched to fight the polio cases. He said the last year's floods had disrupted the polio drive, but despite all those difficulties, polio workers vaccinated children with great commitment.

He said about 20 cases of polio had been reported from Waziristan, but due to consistent efforts such cases were restricted and they did not spread to other parts of the country.

Mr Sharif also appreciated efforts of frontline workers and law-enforcement agencies' personnel who embraced martyrdom while performing their polio duty.

'I have the conviction that all provincial governments, along with the federal government, would continue to collaborate with each other to eradicate this crippling disease forever,' he said.

The premier also appreciated efforts of World Health OrganiAsation (WHO), related departments, law-enforcement personnel and daughters of the nation (lady health workers) for their continuing efforts to achieve the objective of a polio-free Pakistan.

The prime minister on this occasion gave away certificates to the best performing polio workers.

Meanwhile, in a statement issued here on Sunday, Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel said that although 20 polio cases were reported during the current year, fortunately the virus was restricted to tribal districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as all the cases had been...

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