KARACHI: The Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) for Polio in Sindh launched a province-wide polio campaign from 30 November to 6 December 2020 as part of the national immunization days.
The polio drops will be given to approximately 9 million children under five years of age across the 29 districts of the province. Out of these, more than 2 million children reside in Karachi.
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. 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 81 polio cases in 2020, out of which 22 cases are from Sindh.
The Pakistan Pediatric Association, medical experts across the world, and major religious scholars across Pakistan and the region endorse the oral polio vaccine, which is safest and most effective for not only preventing polio but also eradicating it from the environment. 10 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.