People in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) were demanding vaccination to protect their children from life-long disability, Social Sector Secretary Sardar Abbass said after inaugurating the drive.

About 2,260 teams will reach out to the 0.58 million target population in the tribal areas.

The recent surge of polio cases in the region was caused by the migration of the local population to settled areas of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, Abbass told reporters.

The FATA secretariat was approaching authorities to remove hurdles to the public health initiative and to ensure the vaccination of every child in tribal areas.

The government, in consultation with technical partners, has chalked out a "robust strategy" for rooting out polio from the region in 2014. In addition to increasing the number of polio campaigns in the region, emphasis is being laid on improving their quality, officials said.

Of the total polio cases registered in the country in 2013, FATA reported 60. Pakistan is one of only three countries where polio remains endemic.

(Agencies)

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