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Karachi: Chief Minister of Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah launched a polio vaccination drive in the province on August 15. This anti-polio drive was officially launched by CM Sindh at the National Institute of Child Health (NICH). The duration of this vaccination drive is thought to be one week.
This vaccination drive began as a response to increasing polio cases in the country. To date, 14 polio cases have been reported this year. Despite all these cases originating from KPK, the Sindh government has taken this initiative to eliminate the chances of polio in the province.
Further, CM Sindh said that this is an achievement that there are no positive polio samples reported from the province. “Sindh has not reported any polio case since July 2020 and has had continuous negative environment samples for the past one year,” states CM Sindh after the first case was reported from North Waziristan in April 2022.
Still, the Sindh government has increased its vigilance, especially on the entry and exit points in the province. They have vaccinated 571,566 children and out of them, 13000 children were from the South KP district.
“Children can be protected from childhood crippling diseases like polio through vaccination and we seek every stakeholder’s help to raise awareness for the purpose,” said Murad Shah. He also said these efforts have resulted in bringing down vaccination refusals and missing children cases to 50% but this needs to be reduced further.
The government intends to vaccinate 9.9 million children under the age of 5. This anti-polio campaign will work in two phases. In the first phase, mass vaccination will be done from 15th August to 21st August. The second phase will begin on 22nd August and will continue till 28th August. In phase children from Karachi and Hyderabad will be vaccinated. While in the second phase remaining districts of Larkana, Sukkur, Mirpurkhas and Shaheed Benaziabad will be targeted.
Murad Ali Shah said that “In the drive, 33,982 teams along with 9,137 supervisors will be participating across the province, alongside 3556 staff from different organizations will assist. On the occasion of the campaign launch, Minister Health Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, Commissioner Karachi Iqbal Memon, Aziz Memon, Secretary Health Zulfiqar Shah, and other officials were present.
CM reminded us that Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two countries where polio is still endemic. “Remember, polio has no cure but can be easily prevented through vaccination and we are sending workers to your doorsteps, and I am sure people would cooperate with them and help save the future of Pakistan and eradicate polio,” he added.