Our Special Correspondent
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah reiterating his commitment to eradicating polio from the province of Sindh has issued necessary directives to all divisional and district administration and health officers to work hard for administrating polio vaccine and keep their areas clean. “This is a national war and we have to win it.”
He was presiding over a meeting of Provincial Task Force for Eradication of Polio at the 7th floor of New Sindh Secretariat here on Tuesday. Only Pakistan and Afghanistan are left with poliovirus stricken countries, otherwise the entire world has been made polio-free, he said, adding, “With our pragmatic measures, we have achieved some better result but still polio virus exists in various parts of the province, including Karachi for certain reasons such as high refusal rate, migration of people from Balochistan and Afghanistan to Sindh and inefficient garbage lifting services.”
Briefing the chief Minister Provincial Coordinator for Polio Eradication Fayaz Jatoi said that the first polio case of 2017 was detected in August in UC-13 Gulshan-e-Iqbal and another case emerged in November 2017 in UC-4 Gadap, Karachi.
At this, the chief minister intervened and said it means both the cases have been detected from District East. Fayaz Jatoi replying in affirmative said that the causes are multiple such as most of the parents refuse to give polio vaccine to their children and keep moving from Karachi to a polio-positive country such as Afghanistan.
Murad directed the Commissioner Karachi to get garbage lifting started in District East, particularly in UC-13 Gulshan and UC-4 Gadap. He also directed Municipal Commissioner Karachi Dr Asghar Shaikh to sit with Secretary Local government and work out a plan to cleanse major Nallahs of the city. “I want its implementation within 48 hours,” he said.
The chief minister was informed that in 2014, there 30 polio cases in the province, including 23 in Karachi. In 2015 the polio cases came down to 12 with seven in the city and in 2016 eight cases were detected, including one in Karachi and in 2017 only two cases have been detected and both were in the city.
It may be noted that in 2014, there were 306 polio cases in Pakistan, of these 30 were in Sindh. In 2015 out of 54 polio cases of the country 12 were in Sindh, in 2016 out of 19 cases eight were in Sindh and in 2017 out of eight polio cases in the country two are in Sindh.
Talking about environmental samples taken from different areas, cities for detecting poliovirus, Jatoi said that Sukkur city showed positive report in September in 2017, New Sukkur in April, Jacobabad in August and September and then in November, Kambar positive in August 2017. The areas of Karachi which showed polio positive reports include Sohrab Goth, Machhar Colony, Khamiso Goth (Gadap Town), Chaora Nallah, Rashid Minhas (Gulshan Town), Mohammad Khan Colony of Baldia Town, Bakhtawar village – Landhi, Orangi Nallah area of SITE Town and Korangi Nalah area.
Jatoi said that there are 8.6 million children all over Sindh, of the 2.4 million are in Karachi who is being given polio vaccine. The polio teams with proper security administer the