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Karachi

May 19, 2017

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‘Govt to win over parents refusing polio drops’

‘Govt to win over parents refusing polio drops’

Sindh’s chief minister said on Thursday that his provincial government would attempt to win over the parents who refuse to get their children vaccinated against polio.

Chairing a meeting on the Provincial Task Force for Polio Eradication at the CM House, Syed Murad Ali Shah said the crippling disease was a national issue and all the provincial administrations needed to combat it in their respective jurisdictions.

Emergency Operation Centre for Polio Coordinator Fayyaz Jatoi said that only two polio cases had been reported in the country this year: one in Gilgit-Baltistan and the other in Punjab.

“Thirty cases were reported in Sindh during 2014. The number dropped to 12 the next year and to eight last year. Thank God it is zero this year.”

Jatoi said Karachi had been vulnerable and samples collected from different areas, such as Machhar Colony, Sohrab Goth and Gadap, had tested positive for the polio virus. “But now the city has tested negative, but there are some indications of the virus in lower and northern Sindh.”

He said that in Karachi the polio coverage was around 90 per cent but still 80,000 children were left out because of one of two reasons: parents’ refusal or absence from their houses.

On this the CM directed the officials to persuade the refusing parents to let the vaccinators administer polio drops to their children and try to revisit the houses where the occupants were found to be absent during the drive.

It was pointed out that most of the districts in northern Sindh had shown good performance in terms of controlling the situation while operational improvements had been made in parts of lower Sindh since the detection of the first case.

The meeting was told that the proportion of female workers had steadily increased but it still remained a challenge. However, special mobile teams had been introduced in the coastal belt on the CM’s directives.

He ordered transferring the control of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation to the People’s Primary Healthcare Initiative in Tharparkar, Badin, Sujawal,
Kashmore, Kambar, Sanghar and Sukkur. He also ordered appointing district surveillance coordinators and field surveillance medical officers.

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