Survey: Ridding Islamabad of polio

No case detected in the capital since 2008: Health Directorate.

Express June 11, 2011


The federal capital has been a polio-free city since the past three years, as no case has been detected during this period. This is due to the enhanced vigilance of civic authorities, says a press release issued by the Capital Development Authority (CDA).

During the recent anti-polio drive, the vaccination teams administered polio vaccine to over 90 per cent of the children below five years of age, as leftover minimal number could not be approached due to various reasons, according to the press release issued here from the office of CDA chairperson.

The fact has also been confirmed by the monitoring report, released by international independent monitors of World Health Organisation (WHO). A meeting to review the progress in this regard was held at CDA headquarters here on Friday with Chairperson CDA Imtiaz Inayat Elahi in chair.

The chairperson commended that no polio case has been reported in Islamabad since year 2008 and the coverage of children for the administration of polio drops under five years age is up to international standards.

Giving a presentation, Director Health Services Dr Hassan Arooj said, the statistics show that coverage of under five years age children has been 95 per cent, 94 per cent and 96 per cent in January, March and April 2011 respectively, using “parent recall indicator” for administration of polio drops to their children.

Likewise, the finger-marking indicator shows that the coverage of children under five years of age had been 90, 90 and 93 per cent respectively during the above mentioned polio campaigns. The same success rate was reflected in the last campaign held from May 9-11, 2011 wherein the finger marking indicator of children showed coverage of 90 per cent in the capital city.

These results are calculated after thorough post-campaign monitoring by independent monitors from international agencies such as WHO. The meeting was apprised that the average number of target children, who were planned to be reached were from 1,25000 to 1,26000 living in Islamabad. To conduct the polio campaign in a systematic manner, Islamabad was operationally divided into 15 zones. The zones were further divided into 75 sectors. A total of 355 teams, each comprising of two members visited door-to-door for the administration of polio drops.

Additionally, there are 105 fixed centres established in the public and private health care facilities of Islamabad. In order to cover the mobile population, entering and leaving Islamabad, numerous teams were deputed at various transit points so that this population is not missed out. Islamabad is a high risk city in terms of public health issues, since there are large number of urban slums where people live in poor socio-economic conditions and are vulnerable to infections. During polio campaigns special stress is given to such pockets of population. In addition, special emphasis is attributed to schools, madrasas, markets and parks where children are immunised during the campaign period.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 11th, 2011.


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