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Province-wide anti-polio drive to begin from Today

KARACHI: The Emergency Operation Centre for Polio in Sindh will launch a province-wide polio campaign from 11th to 17th January 2021 as part of the national immunization campaign.

This is the first campaign of 2021 in which polio drops will be given to approximately 9 million children under five years of age across 29 districts of the province. Out of these, more than 2 million children reside in Karachi. To further boost immunity, children from six months to five years of age will also be provided with vitamin A drops.

The campaign will be conducted whilst following strict WHO recommended COVID prevention protocols, which include the wearing of masks by workers, their temperatures being checked before deployment, not handling children directly, not entering houses, spending limited time with families, knocking on doors with pens, rulers or elbows rather than hands while reducing the length of meetings and attendance in meetings.

Spokesperson EOC Sindh said, “As a result of the pandemic, the gap in campaigns from March to July coupled with routine immunization being affected left an immunity gap in children which we have been addressing through back to back monthly polio campaigns since August 2020. Thanks to these campaigns, Sindh has not reported a single case of polio since July 2020. If we continue with the same momentum, we will soon see significant results. While we deal with the pandemic, we must also deal with childhood immunization to prevent childhood diseases.

Children can be saved from childhood diseases like polio through vaccination, and we seek the media’s help to raise awareness regarding this.”

Pakistan is one of the two polio-endemic countries in the world along with Afghanistan and has so far reported a total of 84 polio cases in 2020, out of which 22 cases are from Sindh.

The Pakistan Pediatric Association, Pakistan Medical Islamic Medical Association, medical experts across the world, and major religious scholars in Pakistan and across the region endorse the oral polio vaccine, which is the safest and most effective for not only preventing polio but also eradicating it from the environment. Ten billion doses of this vaccine have been given to 3 billion children across the world in the last decade, as a result of which 10 million polio cases have been avoided.

 

-MN Report

January 11, 2021

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