KARACHI: The Emergency Operation Centre for Polio (EOC) has announced the launch of a campaign to administer polio vaccines to children in selected districts of the province from today [Monday]. The campaign will run till July 6.
This campaign will aim to administer the drops to children in 174 union councils (UCs) of Karachi, 107 UCs of Hyderabad, 212 of Larkana and 46 of Sukkur. In all, the aim is to vaccinate 4.43 million children under the age of five years, 1.95m of whom belong to Karachi, 0.71m to Hyderabad, 1.45m to Larkana and 0.13m to Sukkur.
This will be the first campaign after vaccination efforts were halted on account of the month of Ramazan. The environment samples have all but cleared, while not a single case has been reported from the province in 2018, giving a positive outlook towards the eradication of the crippling disease.
Speaking on the occasion, EOC Coordinator Sindh Fayaz Jatoi said that “parents must understand that in order to build immunity of children under five years of age, they must be vaccinated on multiple occasions.”
According to Jatoi, the cooperation of parents was required to vaccinate their children during every campaign. This was also the recommendation of all major private and public hospitals as well as the Pakistan Pediatric Association and the Pakistan Medical Association. “If parents comply, we can eradicate polio once and for all. Figures suggest that we are on the right track towards polio eradication,” he said.
Pakistan achieved a historic low of cases in 2017 with a total of eight cases, out of which two were from Sindh (Karachi), three from Balochistan and one each from Punjab, Gilgit Baltistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
In 2018, there has been no polio case reported in Sindh, while three have been reported from district Dukki in Balochistan.