KARACHI: The Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) for Polio in Sindh has launched an anti-polio drive in 26 districts of the Sindh province including Karachi which is scheduled to continue till April 1st, 2019.
The total target population for this campaign is 6.1 million children under five years of age out of which more than 2.3 million children reside in Karachi. Around 50,000 front line workers are taking part in this campaign across the province; this includes team members and area in charges.
In Karachi alone, there are more than 12,000 community health workers supported by 2500 plus area in-charges who will go door to door to give polio drops to children. Approximately 5,000 law enforcement agency personnel have been deputed for the security of teams.
This is a crucial campaign as environmental samples in Karachi continue to test positive for the virus. It was only a few days ago that a child in Lyari contracted the Poliovirus. Luckily, she had received 7+ doses of the polio vaccine and is not going to suffer from paralysis or disability. This again highlights how important it is to give OPV to all children under 5 years of age. Coordinator, EOC Sindh, Dr Umar Farooq Bullo, said that “One must recognize the importance of vaccination, this girl has been saved from disability because she was vaccinated on multiple occasions, had she not she would have had to suffer. This is also a message for refusal families; please vaccinate your children under 5 years of age so they can be saved from polio.”
“We have reduced cases through intensive polio drives, but we are facing refusals because of repeated vaccination, we would like to take this opportunity to inform the masses that repeated vaccination is necessary for polio eradication and to ensure children are safe from polio. We request parents to cooperate with polio teams and secure the future of their own children by giving them two drops of the polio vaccine,” he added.
The Pakistan Pediatric Association and medical experts recommend that every child must take two drops of the vaccine every time it is offered. In order to save their children from polio, parents must vaccinate them with two drops of the polio vaccine during every campaign.
The total case count in Sindh in 2014 was 30 and 1 in 2018 which shows excellent progress. In 2019, 1 case was reported from Karachi, Sindh.