Lack of co-ordination hampers vaccination drive in Pakistan

Islamabad, Lack of staff and proper co-ordination between the health department and the administration in Pakistan's North Waziristan region is hampering the vaccination drive for displaced children, media reported Monday.

According to officials, due to a large number of displaced people entering the region, there has been a shortage of staff, Dawn online reported.

All the displaced children entering North Waziristan should be vaccinated, the officials said.

"We need to repeatedly vaccinate the children who have not been vaccinated since June 2012. Their immunisation is of utmost importance because there is a severe outbreak of polio in North Waziristan," a vaccinator said.

Officials in Bannu said that the health department should co-ordinate with the Pakistan Army to ensure that all the displaced people were vaccinated.

North Waziristan has recorded 50 polio cases this year.

An estimated 160,000 children have not been vaccinated since the Taliban banned immunisation in November 2012.

The health department in Bannu would earlier give oral polio vaccines to children under 10 years, but Saturday it launched a general vaccination drive for people of any age on the recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

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