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December 16, 2019

Over 2.3m children in Karachi to be targeted in anti-polio drive starting today

Karachi

December 16, 2019

More than 2.3 million children will be vaccinated against polio in Karachi after a pause of four months during a nation-wide vaccination drive starting today (Monday), for which 10,000 teams of polio workers have been deployed and over 4,000 police and Rangers will provide security to the vaccinators, officials said.

Pakistan has been facing a surge in polio cases this year and the number of confirmed polio cases crossed the 100 mark on Friday when three more children, two from Mirpurkhas in Sindh and one from Swabi district of the KP, were found infected with the crippling polio virus.

Sindh is behind KP in the number of confirmed polio cases in 2019 and so far 16 children have been crippled by the polio virus in the province, including six in Karachi, officials said, adding that environmental samples were testing positive for polio in the entire Sindh as no vaccination drive was conducted in the province for the last five months.

In order to review the arrangements for the vaccination drive in Karachi, Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Ahmed Shallwani asked all the deputy commissioners to make all-out efforts to achieve the target of the eradication of polio virus from the city.

He said they should monitor the campaign and make coordinated efforts to reach the missing children to get anti-polio drops administered to them. "The World Health Organisation has come up with a renewed strategic plan that would motivate parents to understand the importance of the anti-polio campaign,” The commissioner told a meeting to review the arrangements and added that the parents needed to be approached individually in this regard.

The commissioner appealed to the parents to cooperate with the anti-polio teams to get their children under five years vaccinated against polio, saying that this exercise was being carried out for the safety of the future of the children.

He also asked the community leaders as well as religious leaders to play their role and realise their responsibility for the importance of anti-polio campaign and extend full support to the authorities.