KARACHI - Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Saturday said that polio had been eradicated from the whole world, except Pakistan and Afghanistan. “They as a nation have to join hands and resolve to eradicate this crippling disease from our country,” he added.

This he said in a video message, after inauguration of week-long anti-polio virus campaign by giving polio drops to some children here at CM House and also administering them the Vitamin-A drops to strengthen their immunity level.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by Minister Health Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, PSCM Sajid Jamal Abro, Commissioner Karachi Iftikhar Shahalwani, Adl IG Karachi Ghulam Nabi Memon, Secretary Health Kazim Jatoi, Coordinator EOC Fayaz Abbasi, Dr Altaf Bosan of TLF Islamabad, Dr Shaukat Chandio of UNICEF, Dr Zara of WHO, Dr Raj Kumar DHO South and others. Murad Ali Shah said that the entire world had eliminated polio from countries, except Pakistan and Afghanistan which was quite painful. “This is a crippling disease and cripples would children, but sorry to most of the parents do not cooperate with the government to administer polio drops to their children,” he said and added this year 64 cases of polio had been detected from Pakistan, of them 21 belonged to province of Sindh. Syed  Murad Ali Shah urged people of the province to cooperate with the polio teams which would visit them under their `door-to-door’ campaign to administer polio drops to under-five-year children. “We all have to join hands to eradicate polio to save our children from physical disability,” he said and urged parents to administer polio vaccines to their children under COVID-19 SOPs.

Following the COVID-19 SOPs, the Chief Minister personally sanitized the hands of the children whom he gave polio and vitamin A drops and wore them masks. The Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) for Polio in Sindh has started a province-wide Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) campaign from 15 to 21 August 2020. The campaign would take place in all 29 districts of Sindh with a total target population of 9.2 million children under 5 years of age. In addition to OPV, 8.3 million children from six months to five years of age will also be given Vitamin A drops to boost their immunity levels.

A total of 49,781 polio workers and 8497 area supervisors will be deployed in the province for house to house vaccination.

All COVID prevention SOPs will be followed during the campaign which includes checking of workers temperature before being deployed, use of hand sanitizers, workers will not handle the children directly and will knock on doors using a pen or ruler rather than their hands.

“lt is absolutely necessary that children receive these life-saving vaccines and l request all parents to step forward and allow polio teams to administer polio drops plus vitamin A to children aged under 5 years and also compete the routine immunization course for their children,” Murad Ali Shah said and added “this is what we need to ensure a healthy future for the children of Sindh and the children of Pakistan.”

Four-day polio drive 

in Khairpur

Deputy Commissioner (DC) Khairpur, Ahmed Ali Qureshi on Saturday has said the four-day of the national polio immunizations has been kicked off in all eight talukas of district Khairpur to ensure that each and every child below five years of age is vaccinated against polio disease which could be overcome through collective struggle of all relevant circles.

While visiting the several areas, he also reviewed the arrangements of the campaign, he said that district administration had taken all possible measures for immunization of children against polio disease. He urged parents to extend full cooperation to the anti-polio teams so that the drive could be made successful. In this regard, all the arrangements were already finalized by the district administration and polio teams would go door-to-door to administer polio drops to maximum children under the five years of age.

On the occasion, all concerned officers of the Health, Revenue, PPHI and representatives of the WHO, Save the Children and others were also present.

Commissioner starts 

polio drive in Hyderabad

The Commissioner Hyderabad Muhammad Abbas Baloch on Saturday kicked off three day polio eradication campaign by immunizing anti-polio drops to under aged children here at Sindh Government Hospital Qasimabad. Speaking on the occasion, the Commissioner said that polio eradication campaign was suspended due to COVID-19 and now it began in Hyderabad district like other parts of the country.

He said that officers of the district administration, health and other departments concerned had been advised to achieve hundred percent coverage of vaccination during the three day campaign by following the Standard Operating Procedure.

The Commissioner also called upon the parents having under five years of age to extend their full cooperation with the vaccination teams and administer anti-polio drops for better and healthy future of their children.

The Commissioner was informed that anti-polio drops would be administered to 339595 under aged children in the supervision of union council medical officers and 12 Taluka supervisors.

Among others, the Additional Deputy Commissioners Hyderabad Tahir Ali Memon, Qaim Akbar Numai and District Health Officer Dr. Lala Jaffer were also present on the occasion.