Regional News

POLIO RESURGENCE: CM Sindh to crack whip on Provincial Task Force

KARACHI: A meeting was recently held on Polio Eradication at the Chief Minister House. The meeting was presided by Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah. the event was attended by Provincial Ministers, Dr Azra Pechuho and Syed Nasir Shah, PSCM, Sajid Jamal Abro, Commissioner Karachi, Iftikhar Shahlwani, Secretary LG, Roshan Shaikh, Secretary Health, Zahid Abbasi, The Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) In-charge, Rehan Baloch, along with all deputy commissioner of the city and all commissioners and deputy commissioners of other divisions and districts of Sindh via video call.

Sindh Chief Minister noted that the emergence of 24 polio cases in the province in 2019 was disappointing. Now we have to make 2020 a safer year by eradicating polio from the province with the help of effective and coordinated efforts; otherwise, our future generations will be left to suffer from this crippling disease, he said.

The Chief Minister said that most of the polio cases had links with Karachi; therefore, the health department and its other concerned wings must focus on Karachi by segregating the areas so that their environmental samples could be made negative.

It may be noted that Gadap, Gulshan, Baldia, SITE, Korangi, Liaquatabad, and Saddar towns have been positive throughout 2019 as far as environmental samples are concerned. Similarly, Sukkur, Jacobabad, Hyderabad, Dadu, and Kambar-Shahdadkot districts also presented positive samples.

The Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) In-charge told the CM that the target was to administer polio drops to 9,076,523, children in the Sindh province including 2,293,687 in Karachi, 2,160,552 Hyderabad, 1,514,246 Larkana, 785,475 Mirpurkhas, 1,093,139 Shaheed Benazirabad and 1,229,424 Sukkur. With special efforts, the coverage remained at 100% all across the Sindh province. He disclosed that 82.1% of missed children were also covered, and still, 295704 children were missed.

The Chief Minister directed EOC In-charge to ensure that not a single child remained unvaccinated. He directed him to send a special team to the houses of unavailable children at night so that they could be vaccinated.

Murad directed the In-charge of the EOC to coordinate with all the deputy commissioners to make coverage more effective. The Chief Minister also directed all the commissioners and deputy commissioners to submit a report to him concerning the performance of polio teams in all their taluka/tahsil levels.

The Chief Minister noted that local bodies must be more efficient in terms of ensuring cleanliness to control the poliovirus. He also issued such directives to the deputy commissioners to keep their cities and water bodies especially clean. The Chief Minister also directed the EOC to improve the case response in 2020. He added that in rural areas of the province where environmental samples had been found positive, 782 union councils must be focused upon.

January 14, 2020

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