The Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that he was committed to eradicate polio from Sindh.
this is a national issue and all the provincial governments have to combat it in their respective areas, otherwise this threat would always be looming large.
This he said while presiding over a meeting on the `Provincial Task Force Meeting for Polio Eradication’ here at the CM House. Health Minister Dr Sikandar Mendhro, Aseefa Bhutto Zaradri, MNA Azra Pechuho, Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon, Mayor of Karachi Waseem Akhtar, IG Police AD Khowaja, Coordinator Emergency Operation Center for Polio Fayaz Jatoi and the representatives of the federal government, UNICEF, WHO, provincial secretaries were also present on the occasion. The chief minister said that he was giving extraordinary attention to the on going polio drive by ensuring security arrangements for the teams. “Therefore, I want to make Sindh free of polio.”
He was quite satisfied when he received the report that during the current five months of 2017 no polio case has been reported anywhere from Sindh. “I hope this year would prove to be zero polio year”. Briefing the meeting, Coordinator Emergency Operation Center for Polio Fayaz Jatio said that during the first five months of 2017 only two polio cases have been reported in the country, one in Gilgit -Baltistan and other one in Punjab. He added that during 2014, some 30 polio cases had emerged in Sindh. The figure dropped down to 12 in 2015 and it went further down to eight in 2016 and “thanks to God it is zero this year”. On this Aseefa Bhutto urged the polio team to maintain zero figure and work hard to eradicate its virus also.
He said that Karachi was vulnerable and samples collected from different areas such as Machhar Colony, Sohrab Goth, Gadap etc had polio virus. But now Karachi is negative while there are some indications of the virus in the areas of Lower and Northern Sindh. He added that necessary measures have been taken to control the situation.
Mr Jatoi told the meeting that in Karachi the polio coverage is around 90 percent but still 80,000 children are left because of two reasons refusal or absence in their houses. On this the chief minister directed them to convince the parents who refuse to give polio drops to their children and try to reach out to their home who are not present there at the time of drive or rounds.
He directed Minister Health Dr Sikanadar Mendhro to post District Health Officers (DHO) where these positions are vacant. “Don’t allow these positions on additional charge for long because we have given ownership to the polio drive, therefore there must be proper working at every rank,” he said.
It was pointed out that most of the districts of Northern Sindh have shown good performance in terms of controlling the situation while the areas of lower Sindh have made operational improvements since detection of the first case in September. It was informed that the proportion of female workers has steadily increased but still it remains a challenge.