For the first time, adults will be vaccinated during a four-day polio immunisation campaign that began in Balochistan on Monday.
Chaman Deputy Commissioner Shafqat Anwar Shahiwani formally launched the drive at the Bab-e-Dosti [Friendship Gate] by administering polio drops to adults. Officials of the provincial health department and local tribesmen were also present.
“The people travelling via the Friendship Gate will have to carry, besides other travelling documents, a yellow card to prove that they have been vaccinated,” the deputy commissioner said. “If you don’t show the card, you won’t be allowed to cross the border. This is because adults transfer polio from one country to the other.”
The special card will be issued for a year to travelers who travel through Chaman after they are vaccinated.
“We will vaccinate adults who travel across the Pak-Afghan border for trade on a daily basis,” an official of the health department said.
“Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two countries left in the entire world where polio exists.”
People said the measure will help eradicate polio. Between 20,000 and 30,000 people travel between Pakistan and Afghanistan using the Bab-e-Dosti every day. It is our responsibility to end polio in the country, said residents of the area.