Dawn News

KARACHI, Sept 7: Excluding a troubled union council in Karachi, a three-day anti-polio campaign under the sub-national immunisation days (SNIDs) in 487 high-risk union councils across Sindh will commence on Sept 10 (Monday).

The provincial director of the expanded programme on immunisation (EPI), Dr Mazhar A Khamesani, said that about 3.157 million children up to the age of five years would be reached by teams of vaccinators, volunteers and lady health visitors in 10 districts of the province during the oral polio vaccination drive, which would continue till Sept 12.

He said that in UC-4 of Gadap Town, the campaign had been rescheduled for want of extra security measures. The vaccination activities would begin on Sept 22 for three days and the deputy commissioner concerned had given assurance to provide extra security, he added.

Due to security concerns raised by polio staffers and supervisor, particularly after an attack on a World Health Organisation’s foreign doctor’s vehicle and the murder of a polio supervisor, the anti-polio drive could not be finished as per plan in the mid of July.

Frequent threats to the lives of polio workers had caused suspension of the July polio campaign in the Gadap’s UC-4 and over 20,000 deserving children could not be reached for vaccination, said a source related to the polio eradication activities in the city.

As per the latest plan, a campaign covering the entire target population would be conducted in nine of the 10 districts selected for the sub-national campaign.

The districts where children would be reached in all the union councils are: Hyderabad (285,664 children), Khairpur (360,661), Sukkur (254,975), Ghotki (291,034), Shikarpur (206,355), Jacobabad (170,023), Kashmore (208,768), Kambar (269,891) and Larkana (281,891).

In Karachi, polio activities would be held in 13 towns only.

Children of all union councils of Gadap, Baldia and Gulshan-i-Iqbal would be covered, while immunisation activities would be conducted in parts of Saddar, Korangi, Landhi, Gulberg, North Karachi, North Nazimabad, Bin Qasim, Orangi, Keamari and SITE towns.

While the local administration was all hopeful to conduct the anti-polio drive as per plan, sources feared that things might go otherwise in towns like, Keamari, Baldia and Orangi as well.

Gadap’s deputy town health officer (preventive) Dr Mohammad Rafi Mughal said that in addition to motivation of the existing staffs of all the eight UCs of the town, which housed about 2.18 million target children, exclusive arrangements were being made for the UC-4 campaign, which would be held on Sept 22, 23 and 24.

He said that the authorities had assured increased police and Rangers deployment in UC-4. The police also agreed to establish pickets in selected sites in the UC, he added.

He said that vaccinators and supervisors from outside the area would also be engaged.

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