Weeklong anti-polio drive begins in Sindh today

Updated February 17, 2020

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The emergency operations centre (EOC) for polio in Sindh said on Sunday that a weeklong polio campaign across Sindh, barring its capital, would begin on Monday. — AFP/File
The emergency operations centre (EOC) for polio in Sindh said on Sunday that a weeklong polio campaign across Sindh, barring its capital, would begin on Monday. — AFP/File

KARACHI: The emergency operations centre (EOC) for polio in Sindh said on Sunday that a weeklong polio campaign across Sindh, barring its capital, would begin on Monday.

Officials said some 6.7 million children under the age of five would be provided oral polio vaccine.

Earlier, an anti-polio campaign was conducted from Feb 10 to 16 in Karachi.

After the completion of the polio campaign in Karachi, which vaccinated some 2.3 million children under five years of age, the EOC will now be conducting a polio-eradication campaign across the remaining divisions of Sindh that would last till Feb 23.

The divisions that would be covered during the campaign include Hyderabad, Thatta, or Bhanbhore, Benazirabad, Sukkur, Mirpurkhas and Larkana divisions.

Officials said after a difficult year for polio in 2019, the provincial government aimed to turn the tide with successive campaigns until June.

The EOC appealed to all parents to come forward and vaccinate their children aged less than five to save them from the vaccine-preventable disease.

They added, in April of last year, incidents in the country’s northwest and a subsequent long gap in polio campaigns led to an alarming rise in polio cases.

However, they said, a “successful” campaign in December, a case response initiative in January and a strong campaign in Karachi this month had formed a good foundation to turn the tide and get back on track.

“The EOC is fully committed to conducting our upcoming campaigns with the same energy and commitment,” said an official. In addition to those steps, he added, “measures are also being taken to increase routine immunisation coverage across Sindh.”

The vaccination was said to be a critical requirement for their children against the vaccine-preventable disease.

This year, 12 polio cases have so far been reported in the country; while a total of 144 cases were reported last year as compared to 12 cases in 2018. Some eight polio cases had been reported in 2017.

Published in Dawn, February 17th, 2020