Federal Minister for National Health Services, Regulation & Coordination Abdul Qadir Patel along with Provincial Minister for Health & Population Welfare Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho co-chaired a meeting on the Polio Eradication Initiative in Sindh at Emergency Operations Center Sindh.
The meeting was attended by EOC Sindh Coordinator Fayaz Hussain Abbasi, Secretary Health Sindh Zulfiqar Shah, and Parliamentary Secretary for Health Qasim Soomro, NEOC Technical focal person Altaf Bosan and EOC Sindh Core Team Members.
During the meeting, EOC Sindh Coordinator briefed the Federal and Provincial Health Ministers on the district wise risk categorization in Sindh and the actions taken in Sindh in response to the recent polio outbreak in the country. He informed the participants that the number of persistently missed children has reduced significantly in Sindh because of the special initiatives, supplementary immunization activities and health camps being conducted across the province, especially in Super High-Risk UCs and High-Risk UCs.
The EOC coordinator also informed the Federal Minister that EOC Sindh has set up 31 Temporary transit points in addition to the 09 permanent transit points across the province where every child under the age of 5 travelling to and from the province is giving vaccination against Polio virus. He further elaborated that more than 700,000 children have been vaccinated at these temporary transit points from April 2022 to August 1st 2022.
The scope and readiness of the upcoming vaccination campaign, starting in Karachi and Hyderabad from 15th August 2022 and remaining 22 districts from 22nd August 2022, was also discussed. The Federal and Provincial Health Ministers were informed that the teams aim to vaccinate 9.9 million children under the age of 5 across the province during this campaign out of which 2.7 million children reside in 8 Very High-Risk Districts.
“Sindh‘s Polio program has set an example for rest of the country and these efforts need to continue to make sure that the province stays Polio free.” Said Qadir Patel in meeting.
Pakistan is one of the two polio-endemic countries in the world along with Afghanistan and has so far reported a total of 14 polio cases from Khyber Pakhtunkhuwah in 2022. Our teams are being extra vigilant, and it is extremely crucial f or us to reach our vaccination targets to make sure that the virus does not enter Sindh.