War on polio: 10,200 teams to march against polio this July

Published: June 30, 2013



With renewed vigour and determination, nearly 10,200 teams of polio vaccinators will resume their campaign against the crippling and potentially deadly infectious disease across the province on July 2 and July 3.

Talking to The Express Tribune, public health director Dr Masood Solangi said the campaign is called ‘Micro Plan Polio Campaign’. In Karachi, 57 UCs were declared highly vulnerable for polio workers and these areas, therefore, would not be covered during the campaign. The areas include Gadap and Baldia towns, and other tribal belts in the city. To achieve their target, the health director has formed 8,493 mobile teams to drop off workers and volunteers at 766 transit points, he added. Repeated threats and recent attacks by the Tehreek-e-Taliban and other terrorist groups have failed to dampen the spirits of the government officials and the vaccinators working towards the eradication of the menace. In the wake of an attack on a polio team in Baldia Town on April 16, the provincial health department had decided to suspend the drive and reschedule it when foolproof security was available.

Sindh Expanded Programme on Immunisation’s head Dr Mazhar Khamisani said the health department had assured complete security to them for the drive. “Many Pashtun-dominated areas of Karachi are highly affected by the deadly virus but, at the same time, they are volatile for polio workers,” said Dr Khamisani. Interior Sindh posed no threats, however, in Karachi, some parts were risky, and they would initiate a campaign with the help of law-enforcement agencies, he said. Conducting the campaign peacefully was a big challenge for the government as in the recent attacks on polio teams, six vaccinators had been shot dead, he added.

“Polio is a highly infectious disease. It invades the nervous system, and can cause total paralysis within a matter of hours. The virus enters the body through mouth and multiplies in the intestine. Initial symptoms are fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness in the neck and pain in the limbs,” an official of the World Health Organisation informed.

“There is no cure for polio. It can only be prevented.  The vaccine can protect the life of a child,” the official added.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • sgrr
    Jun 30, 2013 - 12:13PM

    I think that who so ever is against the polio vaccination, his one leg should be chopped off, so that he can feel the misery of the polio affected children.


  • ashar
    Jun 30, 2013 - 1:52PM

    Vulnerability of Polio workers has increased manifold than that of the kids from polio itself. There is sure something black in the bottom behind the unnecessary stress of the world against polio in Pakistan while the other diseases increasing among the kids are not taken seriously.


  • Nathan
    Jun 30, 2013 - 6:11PM

    @ Aashar

    In the name of Allah, don’t create conspiracy theories about polio eradication. Think of the poor kids.



  • Umer Mir
    Jun 30, 2013 - 8:57PM

    @ Ashar

    The polio virus knows no boundaries. If it is not eliminated from Pakistan, it may very well lead to reinfection of the rest of the world….polio cases which are down to less than a hundred per year may again go up to hundreds of thousands. The efforts of the world community, who have been working to eradicate the disease for the last 35 years will go to waste. That is why there is a lot of international pressure for effective campaigns in the last three countries who still have polio, Pakistan being one of them, so that the world can be rid of polio once and for all.


  • Khan
    Jul 1, 2013 - 3:14AM

    This polio derive got more workers killed than than there are actually people effected by the disease! What about having tens if thousands of similar workers educating and/or vaccinating people against medical conditions that are rampant in the country – like hepatitis, malaria etc. Millions die from these conditions, compared o 60 odd who catch polio each year in Pakistan.. Please prioritise.


  • Citizen
    Jul 1, 2013 - 11:12AM

    I salute the efforts of the polio workers, though I must agree with Khan in the fact that our nation is still one affected by the disease, and we need efforts to eliminate it as fast as possible.


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