KARACHI: Provincial Health Minister Sindh Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar on Friday said that a provision of 550 motorcycles would help improve polio immunization coverage across Sindh.
He expressed these views while addressing a ceremony organized to hand over 550 motocycles donated by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to the Government of Sindh’s Department of Health. Acting Consul General, US Consulate General Karachi, Leon S Waskin, Secretary Health Iqbal Hussain Durrani, Coordinator Polio Shahnaz Wazir Ali, Project Director Expended Program on Immunization Dr Mazhar Khamisani, Dr Durray Naaz were the prominent attendees of the ceremony, among others.
Jam Mehtab said almost all counties across the globe have successfully managed to eliminate polio and that and we are still trying our best to control the further prevalence of crippling disease in the Pakistan, particularly in Sindh. He said polio vaccination coverage would be improved with the provision of transportation facilities.
Acting Consul General Karachi Leon S Waskin said “It is truly tragic that despite modern advancements in prevention and cure of disease, easily preventable ailments continue to spread and affect people.” He also stated that lack of sufficient means of transportation is major hindrance in government efforts to reach each and every household.
He explained that initially USAID would provide the Health Department Sindh with 50 motorcycles each for Thatta, Tharparker, Jacobabad and Kashmore districts. Soon afterwards, it would supply more for Dadu, Khairpur, Tando Allah Yar, Umerkot, Nausheroferoz, Sukkur and Sanghar districts. He said USAID would also support training of health care workers and field staff to improve planning and management skills.
The USAID’s flagship $387million maternal and child health program is designed to assist the government in meeting primary healthcare needs of marginalized and vulnerable population. Major components of the program include health systems strengthening, family planning and reproductive health, maternal newborn and child health, health communication, health commodities and supply chains.
Provincial Coordinator Polio Shahnaz Wazir Ali said polio vaccinators faced hardship in account of transportation during polio campaign in past and now provision of motorcycles would improve the health coverage across the province.
Deputy Project Manager, Expended Program on Immunization (EPI) Sindh, Dr Durray Naaz said polio vaccination is continued in high-risk Union Councils (UCs) of Karachi till achievement of target. She admitted that polio teams are facing many challenges in the province especially in Karachi where security is big issue for teams. She said efforts are underway to proper vaccination of children in non-accessible areas of the city.