SUNDAY TIMES KARACHI: Pechuho was talking here while inaugurating the anti-polio campaign in the province.

Around nine million children will be administered anti-polio vaccine across the province in a drive that will continue till April 28.

Amid tight security, 56,000 polio vaccination workers will take part in the campaign against the crippling disease. Around 5000 security men have been deployed for the security of the anti-polio workers during the campaign.

This year one case of polio has been reported in the province in Karachi, officials said.

Azra Pechuho in her inaugural address of the polio campaign said,”We are nearing to eradicate Polio”. She however said that the crippling disease in Pakistan will not end till it wipes out in neighboring Afghanistan.

Sindh health minister admitted that the well off families could not be forced to administer polio vaccine to their children. “These people use to tell visiting anti-polio workers that the children are not at home,” the minister said.

“Around one lac children not administered vaccine(in each campaign)”, the minister said.

Amid tight security, an anti-polio campaign kicked off in 26 districts of Sindh, 25 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 21 districts of Balochistan today.

About 5.6 million children of up to five years of age will be administered anti-polio vaccine during the campaign in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, citing the provincial health department, the state radio reported. Over 27,000 teams have been constituted which will go door to door to ensure each and every child is administered polio drops.

Polio teams have also been deployed at bus stops, railway stations, Afghan refugee camps and other public places in the province.

Moreover, all age anti-polio vaccination campaign also began at Pak-Afghan border in Torkham to stop cross-border infiltration of polio virus.

In Balochistan, over 1.7 million children up to five years of age would be administered anti-polio drops during the campaign. About 6,000 mobile teams have been constituted for this purpose.