KARACHI, Nov 5: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has expressed his optimism about making Sindh a polio-free province by 2014.

He was talking to a delegation at the CM House here on Tuesday.

He recalled that polio eradication committees were observing the national immunisation days under a national emergency action plan from provincial to district level.

Referring to a decline in polio cases from 33 in 2011 to four cases during the current year in Sindh, he said that three of the four cases were reported in the Gadap area due to arrival of Pakhtun families from northern areas.

He said that in addition to providing full security to the polio teams, the government had changed its strategy by including female workers and local members in the committees to ensure full coverage of the immunisation days.

Besides, federal and provincial lawmakers had also been engaged to create awareness and get the parents convinced to get their children vaccinated, he added.

The CM lauded the role of MNA Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho in eradicating the polio menace.

He also said that a provincial oversight committee headed by Dr Pechuho had been constituted to supervise all nine vertical health projects, including polio eradication. Consequently up to 98 per cent coverage of every round of vaccination was being achieved, he said.

Dr Robert S Scott, the chairman of Rotary International, lauded the government efforts for segregating primary health and secondary healthcare, which resulted in a good performance.

Other members of the delegation included Aziz Memon, Dr Pir Ibrahim Shah, Mohammad Faiz Kidwai, Dr. E.G.P Haran, Iqbal Qureshi and Masood Ahmed Bhatti.

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