The Emergency Operation Centre for Polio in Sindh is conducting its monthly polio campaign for October to November which will last till November 8. The campaign in Karachi and other districts began on Monday and aims to immunise around six million children.
The total target for the campaign is 9.3 million children across Sindh, of which more than two million are in Karachi.
The campaign is being conducted in two phases. The first phase is ongoing in Sukkur, Larkana and Shaheed Benazirabad districts. It started on October 26 and will continue until November 2. It aims to vaccinate 3,475,288 children under five years.
“We were set back by the COVID pandemic when global polio campaigns were halted in March and it is absolutely necessary now that these vaccines are provided to fill the immunity gap in children,” the EOC said in a statement.
We are following all WHO-recommended precautionary measures for the polio campaigns, the EOC reassured parents.
Polio workers have been provided sanitisers, masks, gloves and will not directly handle any child nor knock on doors.
A total of 80 polio cases have been reported in Pakistan so far. Of these 22 cases are from Sindh. The breakdown for the remaining provinces is 13 in Punjab, 22 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 23 in Balochistan and none in Islamabad, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
A nationwide immunisation campaign was held from September 21 to 25 where approximately 39 million children were vaccinated. This was the first national campaign since February after a four-month suspension of immunisation activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pakistan is one of the only two remaining countries with polio in the world along with Afghanistan. The Pakistan Paediatric Association, medical experts and senior religious scholars have endorsed the oral polio vaccine.