Polio campaign begins in Hyderabad

Two children tested positive for the crippling disease


​ Our Correspondent August 27, 2019
PHOTO: REUTERS

HYDERABAD: A day after two children were diagnosed with polio virus in Hyderabad, a three-day immunisation campaign was started on Monday by Commissioner Muhammad Abbass Baloch. Health authorities have set a target of 340,383 children of under five years of age for the campaign.

Some 87 support centres, 67 health facilities and six fixed transit points have been set up for the drive. "Hyderabad being the second biggest city of Sindh has become home to migrants from Waziristan and other tribal areas," said the commissioner. "The people from distant parts of Sindh also come to Hyderabad. This is the reason success of the polio campaigns has become a challenge for the government."

Sindh Health Director-General Dr Masood Solangi confirmed on Sunday that Rubab Fatima, 10, and one-year-old Memona Muhibullah, both residents of Hyderabad, have been tested positive with polio.

The infant is of Pashtun ethnicity whose family hails from Quetta. The family has a history of frequent travel to Machar Colony in Gadap, Karachi. The authorities are investigating if both the children had received polio drops.

The commissioner said the government is trying to resolve operational issues confronted during polio campaigns. "Polio teams have to face new problems every day in the field," he told the media without specifying the nature of the problems.

The commissioner said it is deeply concerning that monthly environmental samples of Hyderabad are testing positive for the last eight months and now two children have been diagnosed as carriers of the virus. He directed health teams to engage religious persons, local elders and the police to handle refusal cases.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 27th, 2019.

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