Polio teams failed to reach far-flung areas of Dadu, say residents

Published November 18, 2020
People of far-flung areas of Dadu district have informed local officials of health department that no polio teams visited them to vaccinate their children. — AP/File
People of far-flung areas of Dadu district have informed local officials of health department that no polio teams visited them to vaccinate their children. — AP/File

DADU: People of far-flung areas of Dadu district have informed local officials of health department that no polio teams visited them to vaccinate their children during the five-day campaigns in August, September and October.

As a result, hundreds of children under five years of age had been left out in the drives, they said.

Talking to this reporter, Khan Mohammad Rustamani, a resident of Karo Koat, said that no polio vaccinators visited his area during the campaigns.

He said that there were at least 300 children in the area of Karo Koat who needed vaccination against the crippling disease.

A local man, Khadim Rind, said the areas of Sado Bodo located in the hills of Khirthar range near Wahi Pandhi were completely neglected by the health department.

Belonging to the area of Lop located in Khirthar range, Mohammad Khan Shahani has also complained against local health officials. Local villagers had never seen any polio team or any senior officer of the health department in the area, he added.

Ghulam Qadir Rind said that there were 200 children related to Rind, Rustamani and Brohi tribes who had been living there for the past several years, but teams of polio vaccinators failed to reach them.

“Gorakh Hill Station is also located at Dadu district, where 50 children of Bozdar and Alkhani tribes have not had an opportunity to have polio drops; people are living like animals there as no one is ready to look into their health issues,“ said Mohammad Saleem Bozdar.

Mohammad Qasim Leghari of Kachho area said that at least 3,000 children belonging to various areas had not been administered polio drops since May 8, after heavy flood of hill torrents. He said that only a record was maintained with “fake” entries showing that polio drops had been administered.

He said millions of rupees were drawn in the name of polio drives, but still officials failed to cover the far-flung areas.

He appealed to the World Health Organisation country head/representative in Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and health minister to direct health teams of Dadu for sending polio officials to the area.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the district polio committee was held at the DC office of Dadu to review progresses of polio drives.

Dadu District Health Officer Dr Zahid Dawach briefed the meeting that from Nov 30 to Dec 6, a polio drive would be launched in Dadu district.

He said that 1,127 teams of vaccinators were constituted to administer polio drops to 365,000 children in the district. Showing figures of polio drives in Dadu, Mehar, K.N. Shah and Johi areas, he said that they were satisfactory. He said that all areas were covered properly.

Published in Dawn, November 18th, 2020

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