Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Monday launched a week-long anti-Polio campaign from 13th-19th March in 16 High-Risk districts of the province by administering drops to the children in a ceremony organized at CM House, here by the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) for Polio Eradication.
The ceremony was attended by Minister Health Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, Parliamentary Secretary on Health Qasim Soomro, Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput, Commissioner Karachi Iqbal Memon, Secretary Health Zulfiqar Shah, Aziz Memon, Coordinator EOCPE Fayaz Abbasi, and others.
The CM said that an anti-polio drive was being launched in 16 high-risk districts of the province which include all seven districts of Karachi division, Larkana Division (all five districts), Sukkur division (Sukkur & Ghotki), Hyderabad division (Hyderabad full and Jamshoro Partial) with an aim to vaccinate more than 5.6 million children of under 5 years of age. The minister for health told the chief minister that more than 40 thousand polio workers would be deployed and around 2,270 security personnel would be deployed in Karachi.
Speaking on the occasion, the CM said that Pakistan was one of the two polio-endemic countries in the world along with Afghanistan. “Pakistan has reported 20 cases of Polio since April 2022, all cases belong to South KP while positive environmental samples have also been reported from all provinces,” he said. Mr Shah said that it was a great achievement for Sindh that no Polio cases had been reported over the last 33 months.
The last polio case was reported on 14th July 2020 from Jacobabad, the CM said, and added the environmental samples had been reported negative for more than one and half years except one in August 2022 from Landhi district Malir. “If we continue with the same momentum, we will further see significant results, but we must not get complacent and continue the hard work,” Murad Shah said and added children could be saved from childhood diseases like polio through vaccination and we seek every stakeholder’s help to raise awareness regarding this.
Murad Ali Shah said that the Pakistan Pediatric Association, Pakistan Islamic Medical Association, medical experts across the world, as well as prominent religious scholars in Pakistan, and across the region endorsed the oral anti-polio vaccine as the safest and most effective for not only preventing polio but also eradicating the environment.
The chief minister said that polio had no cure but could be easily prevented by administering two polio drops during every campaign.He urged parents to cooperate with the polio teams reaching their doorsteps for vaccination and help save Pakistan’s future by eradicating polio. Minister Health told the chief minister that more than 40 thousand polio workers will be deployed and around 2270 security personnel would be deployed in Karachi.
Minister Health Dr Azra said that the efforts of EOC the anti-polio program have resulted in more than a 60 percent reduction in refusals and missed children, but we must bring them down further, especially in Karachi. The Pakistan Pediatric Association, Pakistan Islamic Medical Association, medical experts worldwide, and prominent religious scholars in Pakistan and across the region endorse the anti-oral polio vaccine as the safest and most effective for not only preventing polio but also eradicating the environment.
“Remember polio has no cure but can be easily prevented through two polio drops (the safest and most effective vaccination) during every campaign. Please cooperate with the polio teams reaching your doorsteps for vaccination and help save Pakistan’s future by eradicating polio”.