Drive launched to administer polio drops in Sindh: Sharmila

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A week-long anti-polio campaign has been launched in Sindh from today to vaccinate children against the polio virus which causes nerve injury leading to paralysis, difficulty in breathing and sometimes death as between 2 and 10 out of 100 people who have paralysis from poliovirus infection die, said Sharmila Farooqui, Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) Sindh MPA.

“Sindh government has taken hectic steps to counter polio disease to save children as they are major source of socio-economic development of the country, including Sindh.

The 74,435 polio workers across the Sindh province are performing this mega drive in which social mobilizers and healthcare influencers are persuading parents to administer polio drops to their children. Hectic efforts are being made to get 100 percent targets in the drive,” she said while administering anti-polio drops to children under the age of five in Karachi today.

Sharmila said, “no polio case had been detected in the Sindh province since last one year which is a great success of Sindh government and its health department.” Sindh government had kept health sector among its top priorities to save its people, including youth and children, she added.

“A five-day national polio eradication drive across the country has also started today to administer polio and vitamin A drops to 18.6 million children up to the five-year of age.

The workers of the anti-polio vaccination campaign have been provided the necessary protective gear for their protection against corona-virus infection to keep themselves and others safe from Covid-19,” the PPP MPA Sharmila said.

She said: “The parents should stay at homes to entertain visitors for administering polio drops to the children so that no kid could be left without the anti-disease drops. PPP government believes in better healthcare facilities.

“In FY-21-22, Rs 172 billion had been allocated for the health sector against an allocation of Rs 132.88 billion in 2020-21 with an increase of 30% in total allocation for the health sector including medical education, she said.

She informed: “The ADP of health is pitched at Rs18.5 billion while Rs7.6 billion has been allocated with an overall increase of 10% for nine vertical programs to control polio, hepatitus, TB, Aids; for Lady Health Worker Program,  and expanded program for immunization.

Prevention & Control of Hepatitis allocation is Rs2.04 billion, the Maternal, Neonatal, and Child Health Program has Rs315.9 million allocation.

It is worth mentioning that the Sindh government has allocated Rs24.72 billion to deal with the ongoing pandemic.”

She said that the World Health Organization has declared that wild poliovirus type 3 (WPV3) has been eradicated worldwide. Wild poliovirus type 2 (WPV2) was already eradicated in 2015. So, of the three wild polio strains, only one type remains and cases of it are concentrated in just two countries -Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“This is truly a historic achievement for humanity. With WPV2 and WPV3 eradicated, polio is one step closer to being completely wiped from the face of the earth.

This kind of achievement has only been seen once before: the elimination of smallpox in 1980. Polio eradication efforts have already saved the world more than US$27 billion in health costs since 1988. A sustained polio-free world will save another US$14 billion by 2050,” she added.

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