KARACHI: Health Minister for Sindh, Dr. Azra Pechuho inaugurated the province-wide campaign administering polio drops to a girl child at the Emergency Operation Center here on Monday.
An estimated number of nine million children from 30 districts of the province, that also include approximately two million under five from Karachi , are to be administered oral polio drops during the exercise.
The campaign, part of national immunisation days (NIDs), will be conducted with strict implementation of WHO recommended COVID prevention protocols that include wearing of masks by health workers along with due provision for temperature checking prior to deployment, said the EOC – Sindh spokesman. The health-workers assigned for the job were said not to be handling children directly, nor would be they be allowed to enter residence of the kids besides spending limited time with relevant families and knocking on the doors with pens, rulers or elbows rather than hands.
The spokesman further mentioned that that as a result of pandemic the gap in campaigns from March to July coupled with the fact that routine immunization being equally had affected left an immunity gap in children that was but attempted to be addressed through back-to-back monthly polio campaigns since August 2020.
Due to these campaigns, he said the province has not reported a single case of polio since July 2020 while a number of environment samples are also now showing negative.
“If we continue with the same momentum we will further see significant results but can not afford to be complacent,” said Abid Hassan.
He reiterated that while dealing with the pandemic, our country and along with all its provinces must deal with childhood immunization to prevent diseases that can be averted through relevant immunization.
Barrister Murtaza Wahab while talking to media persons said that Polio Eradication campaign was organized by Sindh Government under which Polio Eradication campaign was being run from March 29 to April 4.
He said that the target of Sindh Government was to vaccinate 9.4 million children, including 2.2 million children in Karachi.
He appealed to the journalists to positively publicize the Polio Eradication campaign and help the Sindh Government in persuading the parents so that the children could be protected from the polio virus for life after being vaccinated against polio.
He further said that thank God no case of polio has been reported since last July and inshallah polio would be completely eradicated across Sindh and the country. “The credit for this goes to Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto for launching an Polio Eradication campaign in 1993” he concluded.