Sindh on Monday launched its polio immunisation campaign for children under five years.
It was inaugurated by Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho at the Emergency Operation Centre for polio in Sindh.
The province-wide polio vaccination campaign will run from the June 7 to June 12.
Over nine million children of under 5 will receive anti-polio drops.
The campaign will cover all 30 districts of the province. Two million of the target population in Karachi.
The campaign will be conducted under strict WHO recommended Covid-19 SOPs which include the wearing of masks by workers, temperature checking before being deployed, not entering houses, spending limited time with families and knocking on doors with pens, rulers or elbows rather than touching.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the gap in campaigns from March to July left an immunity gap in children.
Sindh, however, has not reported a single case of polio since July 2020 and environment samples have shown downward trend.
The aim of the program is to continue with similar pace in order to achieve results.
High risk union councils (UCs) for polio need other services such as water filtration plants, experimental dispensaries, model EPI centres, and mother and child health facilities to offer more holistic healthcare.
During the campaign this time there will be health camps across extremely high-risk UCs to cater to the healthcare needs of communities, especially women and children.
Pakistan is one of the two polio-endemic countries in the world with Afghanistan and has reported a total of one polio case in 2021.
The Pakistan Paediatric Association, Pakistan Medical Islamic Medical Association, medical experts across the world, as well as religious clerics endorse the oral polio vaccine as the safest and most effective, for not only preventing polio but also eradicating it from the environment.
The government urged people to cooperate with the teams.
Here’s the breakdown of wild poliovirus cases in the provinces this year:
- Punjab: 0
- Sindh: 0
- Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 0
- Balochistan: 1
- Gilgit-Baltistan: 0
- Azad Jammu and Kashmir: 0
- Islamabad: 0
There were 84 cases recorded last year.