Chief Minister of Sindh, Syed Murad Ali Shah has taken strong exception to cases of polio vaccine refusals or missing of 200412 children, pertaining to targeted age group, during recently held immunization campaign against crippling disease in the province.
Chairing a meeting of Provincial Taskforce for Polio Eradication, he also registered his concern about identification of no less than 14 confirmed cases of polio in Sindh during the current year, including six in Karachi and eight in other divisions. “I am really upset as why efforts are not helping us to achieve the target of zero polio prevalence,” said the chief minister.
“This is in a scenario that our province had reported just one case last year reflecting that there is definitely certain fault on our part,” added Syed Murad Ali Shah.
He emphasized need to identify the defect and shortcoming with equal focus to expedite efforts to eliminate virus present in the local environment.
Sindh Chief Minister sought a fool proof strategy to ensure that missed children are particularly vaccinated while coverage of all under five kids surpasses 90% coverage.
“The fact that 200412 children of the province, including 173521 belonging to Karachi division only, could not be administered polio vaccine is simply unacceptable,” he said. The meeting that was also attended by Sindh Minister for Health, Dr. Azra Pechuho, Advisor to CM on Prevention of Polio, Shahnaz Wazir Ali, Mayor of Karachi, Wasim Akhter, Additional Inspector General of Karachi Police, Karachi Commissioner, Iftikhar Shalwani, Deputy Commissioners, WHO as well as Unicef representatives and other concerned officials was informed that next door to door polio immunization exercise will begin in the province from December 16.
During the December 16 to 22 campaign this year 9,089,234 under five children are aimed to be vaccinated against polio. The Sindh CM urged district and divisional committees to gear up their efforts ensuring that no under five is denied of the protection. The meeting was further informed that polio virus predominantly exists in Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Jacobabad, Dadu, Kambar cities of the province.
In particular context of Karachi, the CM was told that water samples collected from Gadap, Gulshan e Iqbal, Baldia, Landhi, SITE area, Liaqutabad and Saddar Town have established presence of the virus posing constant risk to children either never or inadequately immunized against polio.