HYDERABAD - The Lady Health Workers (LHWs) have warned of boycotting the next polio immunization campaign in Sindh if their unpaid salaries for the months of July to September would not be released without further delay.

Addressing a press conference at Hyderabad press club on Thursday the Sindh Lady Health Workers Employees Union also announced that they would hold a sit-in which would precede the work boycott. The union’s president Haleema Zulqarnain told that the sit-in protest would be organized in Hyderabad on Oct 17, a day before Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has scheduled to hold its public meeting in Hyderabad.

“The sit-in will continue for the following days and from Oct 30 we will boycott the polio campaign if our demand is not accepted,” she warned.

Shama Gulani, union’s general secretary, held the Sindh Health Department responsible for the problems being confronted by the LHWs. According to her, the officials were delaying giving formal approval for release of the salaries for LHWs of 16 districts of Sindh for which the lists of LHWs had been finalized.

She added that the list of the LHWs being appointed by the provincial health department were under process. She claimed that around 24,000 LHWs were currently affected due to non-payment of salaries. Meanwhile, as many as 290477 children up to age of five would be vaccinated during upcoming round of polio eradication campaign set to start from October 30.

It was informed to a meeting held here on Thursday to review arrangements for the polio campaign with deputy commissioner Naushahro Feroze, Dr Waseem Ali in chair, said a handout.

District Health Officer Dr. Mazhar Kalhoro and focal person for polio campaign Dr. Fida Hussain Memon briefed the meeting that 67 team support centers to be set up throughout the district while 795 teams would administer vaccine to the children which include 689 mobile teams, 67 fix points and 39 transit points.

The deputy commissioner directed for proper training and monitoring of vaccination teams to ensure universal coverage and warned of stern action in case of negligence.

DC reviews arrangements for upcoming anti-polio campaign

The Deputy Commissioner Thatta Mirza Nasir Ali presided over a meeting Thursday to review the arrangements for upcoming anti-polio drive.

The campaign will start from October 30 to November 5, said a statement. Presiding over a meeting at his office, the Deputy Commissioner directed all the Assistant Commissioners to make all out efforts for the success of the upcoming anti-polio campaign.

He also called for utilization of all available resources to achieve hundred percent vaccination target.

The District Health Officer Dr Abdul Fatah Mehar and concerned health officials informed the meeting that a total of 547 teams have been formed for the campaign and 1,81,590 children will be vaccinated  under the age of 5 years.

The Additional Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Usman Tanvir, Assistant Commissioners of all Talukas, and other concerned officers also attended the meeting, the statement further said.