The four-day polio campaign is being initiated on Saturday (today) in the most sensitive areas of the city with the launch of the inactivated polio vaccine for the first time in the province.
Officials claim that all arrangements have been made for the special drive, including health workers teams and deployment of law enforcement agencies.
The three-member team constituted by Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah is led by commissioner Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui, and include Karachi police chief Ghulam Qadir Thebo and provincial health secretary Allamddin Balo who have been assigned the task.
The authorities are also setting up 40 health camps in all nine super high-risk union councils to attract the maximum population to benefit from the drive. Except the camps set up for women, the health workers will also monitor routine immunisation drive.
According to the commissioner office, there are a total 92,432 children in these high-risk areas. The total population of these areas is over 535,000. The authorities have assigned 307 vaccinators and 614 social mobilisers to participate in the drive.
Sources in the health department said the campaign was delayed due to 'unavailability' of law enforcers. During a meeting held a few days ago, it was decided that health workers will not enter any area without security cover as it would be risky to initiate the drive without security arrangements.
The provincial head of the extended programme on immunisation, Dr Mazhar Khamisani, told The Express Tribune that the campaign is not being delayed this time. "Everything is ready and our teams are ready to start this very special campaign."
The polio workers team will gather in their respective town offices and will start the campaign on time if they are provided adequate security.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 10th, 2015.
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