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December 20, 2011

MPAs promise personal involvement in anti-polio drive


December 20, 2011

The provincial assembly of Sindh unanimously passed a resolution on in which MPAs resolved to monitor the anti-polio drive that kicked off on Monday.
The resolution, which was moved by MPA Shazia Marri, reads: “This Assembly considers polio as a debilitating disease the eradication of which continues to be the government’s highest priority since the initiation of [the] polio eradication drive by Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and resolves to take this drive forward with complete dedication to achieve the set goal.”
Power Minister Shazia Marri noted that the proper temperature was not being provided for polio drops, a factor that can affect the vaccines’ efficiency. She also said that negligent officials were not being taken to task.
Another minister, Syed Sardar Ahmed, said unchecked migration was one of the main reasons behind the recent spread of polio in Sindh. He said the health minister should be given full powers for the transfer and posting of officials to help tackle the problem.
Culture Minister Sassui Palijo said eight polio cases had been detected in Thatta recently. She called for close coordination among the health ministry and MPAs. Speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro observed that the system of reporting newborn babies was not adequate as babies born at homes were not being registered. He pointed out that 61 polio cases had been detected in Balochistan and 32 in Sindh while only two cases were recorded in Punjab. Khuhro said that it was not only rural areas that had been affected; there had been a documented increase of polio in Karachi, especially in the Central and West districts.
He said that of particular concern was that the number of polio cases in Sindh had increased from 16 to 32 in one year. Meanwhile, the Speaker referred the Sindh Shops and Establishments Security Bill to the standing committee for examination and submission in the next session.
The presentation of a report for the Standing Committee on Law for a

proposed an increase in the pay of ministers and MPAs was deferred for 13 days.
Law Minister Ayaz Soomro said that the chief minister wanted to discuss the issue of an increase in the pay for ministers and legislators with the finance ministry. Legislator Arif Jatoi said it was just a report and asked why the government was scared of making it public. The presentation of another report about a privileged motion of MPA Muhammad Taimur Talpur against the then principal secretary to the chief minister was also deferred till next session.

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