Sindh CM Launches Week-long Immunization Campaign In 25 Districts

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that eradication of polio was a collective responsibility, therefore district administration, local bodies, civil society members and our partners must work together to save our children from the crippling disease of polio

KARACHI, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 27th Apr, 2024) Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that eradication of polio was a collective responsibility, therefore district administration, local bodies, civil society members and our partners must work together to save our children from the crippling disease of polio. “We are launching a week-long National Immunization Campaign from Monday, 29th April in 25 districts, therefore all the deputy commissioners and SSPs must ensure its success by supporting the polio teams in administering Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) to children below 5 -years of age.”

This he said while presiding over a meeting of the Provincial Task Force for Eradication of Polio here at CM House on Saturday. The meeting was attended by Minister Health Dr Azra Pechuho, Mayor Karachi Murtaza Wahab, Secretary to CM Raheem Shaikh, Home Secretary Iqbal Memon, IG Police Ghulam Nabi Memon, Commissioner Karachi Hassan Naqvi, Secretary school education Zahid Abbasi, Adl IG Karachi Imran Yakoob, Secretary Health Rehan Baloch, EOC Coordinator Irshad Sodhar, DG Health Dr Waqar, Chairman Rotary Aziz Memon, Ms Melissa of Unicef, Dr Zain of WHO and other concerned.

The Divisional Commissioner, DIGs of Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Shaheed Benazirabad, Sukkur and Larkana participated in the meeting through video link.

The chief minister said that polio had been eradicated from the entire region, except for Afghanistan and Pakistan, both of which have two cases each. He explained that due to frequent inter-provincial population movements and even from Afghanistan, the country was struggling to eradicate the polio virus.

Minister Health Dr. Azra Pechuho, informed the CM that two cases of polio had been detected in Balochistan‘s Dera Bugti and Chaman districts.

The CM was told that the environmental samples (ES) collected from all the districts showed that 43 areas of 11 districts were infected with polioviruses. They include 13 areas of Karachi East, three each of Central, Malir and Korangi, Hyderabad and Sukkur, Six each of South and Keamari, and one each in Jamshoro Jacobabad and Badin.

The chief minister directed the district administration, local bodies and solid waste management authorities to ensure proper cleanliness in the districts where poliovirus has been detected. The Health Department would share the list of the poliovirus-infected UCs with local bodies and towns and even with the district administration to ensure proper cleanliness, efficient disposal of wastewater and provision clean drinking water in the areas so that its impact could be control,” he said and added that the Health Department would take necessary measures to purge such areas from the virus.

   

It was pointed out that in February 2024 national immunization Days were observed in which 38743 cases of refusal were reported. At this, the CM said that no parent would be allowed to refuse to administer polio drops to his or her children. “If you find any refusal case inform the district administration and they will take strict action,” he said. 

The CM appreciated polio workers for reaching door to door to ensure giving polio vaccine to children under five. He also directed the polio teams to administer polio drops to 126,553 children who were not available at their homes during the campaign of February 2024. 

Dr Azra told the CM that over 9.04 million children under five had been given polio vaccine at transit points during the last 15 months (Jan 2023 to March 2024). She said that 275 transit posts, with 1003 teams across Sindh were assigned the task.The CM was told that the Polio Ambassador Unitive Project has been launched in Karachi and is now being expanded across the province with 407 schools participating and 901 new Polio Ambassadors inducted this month. The Polio Ambassadors are advocating for the cause of vaccination in their homes, communities and schools. During campaigns, Polio Ambassadors make speeches in favour of vaccination during their respective schools’ morning assemblies.Immunization Campaign:

The CM was told that the Sindh government is going to start the National Immunization Campaign on Monday, 29th April in 25 districts of the province. He directed IG Police to provide 3,833 policemen for security. He also directed him [IGP] to provide similar security to other teams to work in rural areas of the province.

During the campaign, eight million children of below 5 years of age will receive Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV). More than 600,000 frontline workers (FLWs) will participate in the drive. The anti-polio drive would be carried out in 201 union councils of the city in which 24656 polio workers would perform their duties.


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