KARACHI          -          Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah expressing his displeasure and anguish on the detection of 14 polio cases in the province during 2019, has directed health department to launch the campaign afresh with new strategy and vigour by involving UC councilors, members of provincial assembly of different parties and also administer polio drops to every person at transit points such as Jacobabad, Mochko post and Karachi toll plaza.

He issued these directives and guidelines on Friday while presiding over the Provincial Taskforce for Polio Eradication here at CM House.

The chief minister also declared 2020 as polio free Sindh for which he assigned the task to all the concerned departments and divisional and district administration and municipal administration.

The chief minister said that the emergence of 14 cases in the province in 2019 has undone all the efforts the provincial government has taken so far. “We had 30 case in 2014 and after that the provincial government with its effective campaign controlled the situation and the cases started declining,” he said and quoted the cases as in 2015 there were 14 cases, in 2016 eight cases, in 2017 two cases and in 2018 one case but in 2019 we have returned to the worst situation which was somewhere between 2014 and 2015.

The chief minister was told that out 14 polio cases in 2019, six detected in Karachi Division and eight in other division of the province. 

The cases reported in the city include Safia of Lyari, and she belongs to Quetta. Nisar of Gadap is a Pashtoon. Zakia of  Orangi and she is also Pashtoon. Manahil of Orangi is Siraki speaking and belongs to Multan. Ahmed of Jacob Line is a Pashtoon and originally belongs to Hyderabad. Abdullah of Kiamari is a Balochi Child and belongs to Landhi.

The chief minister said that the cases detected from Karachi were among those children who originally belonged to Balochistan and KPK.

The cases reported from other divisions of the province include Fiza, from Dokri, Distt Larkana and she is Siraiki speaking and originally settled in Gapad, Karachi. Memona from Halaka Hyderabad is Pashtoon and belongs to Gadap. Rubab of Latifabad and is Urdu speaking and belongs to Hyderabad. Jashed, a Pashton of Kori. Kamran, Sindhi speaking of Sujawal is settled in Hyderabad. Bisma of sakrand is Pashtoon and belongs to Gadap. Fazila of Jamshoro is Sindhi speaking Hasnain of Dokri, Distt Larkana is a Siraiki speaking and originally belongs to SITE Karachi.   

The chief minister said that the cases as analyzed by him through the data shared with him showed that the majority cases were of Pashtoon children and they belong to Gadap. “This indicates that the Pahstoon families have their visitors from KPK and Balochistan who might be carrying polio virus,” he said and also said the worst vulnerable and affected areas of the province was Gadap. He directed the EPI to give special focus to Gadap in terms of cleanliness o the area, provision of clean drinking water and proper cleaning of sewerage systems.

The chief minister directed Minister Local Government, Mayor Karachi and deputy commissioners to identify high-risk union councils so that their services in respect of water, sanitation and cleanliness could be improved.

The chief minister was told that polio virus presences has been detected in the areas of Gadap Town, Gulshan Town, Baldia Town, Landhi Town, SITE Town, Korangi, Liaqatabad Town and Saddar Town. 

The polio virus presence have also been found in Sukkur City, New Sukkur, different areas of Jacobabad and Hyderabad, Massan Mohalla of Dadu and different localities of Kambar. The chief minister directed the deputy commissioners and commissioners, municipal administrations to take necessary measures of cleanliness in the areas pointed out by the EPI administration. 

Coverage

The polio vaccine coverage in the province has been recorded at 96 percent by administering anti-polio vaccine to 5,304,135 million in the province, including 1,349,639 in Karachi and 3,954,496 in other divisions of the province.

Missing Children: During the special polio campaign the number of missed children have been recorded at 200412 in the province, of them 173521 in Karachi Division and 26891 children in other divisions of the province. The reason are said to be different such as misconception of the polio vaccines, religious matters and some demands some kind of incentives while the other category of missing children was their sickness, including high fever or seasonal illnesses. 

Next Campaign

The next anti-polio campaign would start from December 16 to 22, 2019 in all 29 districts, 1125 union councils of the province. In the campaign all 9,087,234 children would be directed and vitamin A would also be administered to children along with polio vaccine. 

The chief minister said that he would hold a meeting on December 23, 2019 to review the progress of eight-day campaign starting from Dec 16. “I’ll take all the DCs and local bodies representatives on video link,” he said added he would personally monitor the campaign so that Sindh could be made polio free province by the end of 2020.

The meeting was attended by Minister Health Dr Azra Pechuho, Minister Local Government Nasir Shah, Mayor Karachi Waseem Akhtar, Shahnaz Wazir Ali of SZBIST, PSCM Sajid Jamal Abro, Commissioner Karachi Iftikhar Shahalwani, Secretary Home Usman Chachar, Secretary Local Government Roshan Shaikh, Secretary Finance Hassan Naqvi, Secretary education Ahsan Mangi, Adl IG Karachi Ghulam Nabi Memon, Secretary Health Zahid Abbasi, all divisional commissioners, PD EPI Rehan Baloch, Dr Rana Safdar NEOC Coordinator, Dr Jamal of WHO, Mr John Agbhor of UNICEF, Dr Altaf of BMGF, Dr Kamal of NSTOP, Aziz Memon Rotary International and all deputy commissioners of Karachi.