Sindh polio-free for last 30 months, says Murad

Vaccination drive launched in eight very high-risk districts


Our Correspondent November 29, 2022

KARACHI:

Pakistan has reported 20 cases of Polio since April 2022 and all belong to southern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, while positive environmental samples have also been reported from all provinces, it is a great achievement for Sindh that none have been reported over the last 30 months.

This he said in a meeting with a delegation of the Polio Oversight Board (POB) led by its chairman Dr Christopher Elias.

The CM inaugurated the Anti-Polio Campaign at CM House on Monday, which will run from November 28 to December 4 in the eight very high-risk districts, including seven districts of Karachi and Hyderabad district by administering oral polio vaccine drops to children.

During a week-long campaign more than 2,771,089 children under five years of age would be vaccinated, Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho briefing the meeting said and more than 27,000 polio workers have been deployed for the campaign.

According to the health minister, around 2,943 male and 113 female security personnel have been deployed for the drive.

An additional 26 senior field staff from other divisions of Sindh were deployed for monitoring and supportive supervision in very high-risk and poor-performing UCs.

He added that Pakistan has reported 20 cases of polio since April 2022, and all the cases belonged to southern districts of K-P while positive environmental samples have also been reported from all provinces.

Shah said that it was a great achievement for his government that no polio case has been reported over the last 30 months.

"The last polio case was reported on July 14, 2020 from Jacobabad while in Karachi on June 9, 2020 from Landhi.

He said that after the first case was reported in April 2022 from North Waziristan, the EOC Sindh increased vigilance over the entry and exit points of the provincial borders and vaccinated 1,280,495 children out of which 30,937 belonged to the southern districts of K-P.

"If we continue with the same momentum, we will further see significant results," the CM said and added children could be saved from childhood diseases like polio through vaccination and we seek every stakeholder's help to raise awareness for the cause.

Shah said that efforts in the programme have resulted in more than a 60 percent reduction in refusals and missed children, but we must bring them down further, especially in Karachi.

POB President Dr Christopher Elias said that polio has no cure but can be easily prevented through two polio drops.

At the conclusion of the programme, the CM urged parents to cooperate with the polio teams reaching their doorsteps for vaccination and help save Pakistan's future by eradicating polio .

The POB delegation consisted of WHO RD Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari, Deputy Director Endemics Michael Galway, Global Polio Director Dr Hamid Jafari, Global Polio Director WHO Dr Palitha Mahipala, Steven Lauwerier of UNICEF, Aziz Memon of Rotary International.

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