KARACHI - Workers on Monday rejected to participate in anti-polio drive in Karachi due to delay of their salaries.

According to a private TV channel, anti-polio campaign was launched by the Sindh government in Landhi, Korangi, Baldia Town and Ibrahim Haidri but anti-polio workers in Ibrahim Haidri refused to participate as they have yet not received their salaries. According to sources, the workers have informed the concerned anti-polio officers for not initiating the campaign.

Moreover, anti-polio drive suspended for two hours as workers demanded foolproof security to carry out anti-polio campaign in sensitive areas of Baldia Town, Laandhi and Korangi.

SECURITY FOR ANTI-POLIO WORKERS

The Sindh government has failed to fulfill its promise of forming a Special Security Force for deployment in high risk areas during the anti-polio campaign in Karachi on Monday, putting the lives of anti-polio workers at risk.

With VIPs expected to visit the high-risk areas, Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) West Karachi had inspected Surjani Town in particular for security. However, few security personnel were deployed for workers whereas more than 12 security guards, including highly-trained commandos, were present for the security of the DIGP, reported a private TV channel.

Meanwhile, Sindh Food and Health Minister Jam Mehtab Dahar on Monday said at least 2.8 million children would be administered anti-polio drops in different districts of the province including 97 union councils of Karachi during the ongoing anti-polio campaign. Talking to media outside Sindh Assembly, Dahar said 2,761,082 children would be administered anti-polio drops in 444 union councils of the province and hopefully they would be able to achieve the target.

He said 2,400 anti-polio teams were working in Karachi that would administer anti-polio drops to at least 818,000 children. He said the campaign was also in full swing in Hyderabad, Dadu, Jacobabad, Kashmore, Larkana and partially in Jamshoro, Mirpurkhas, Sanghar, Nausheroferoze, Sukkur and Qamber cities. “We are taking extra security measures for the safety of anti-polio teams and police escorts were accompanied the teams. Special security measures were taken in Karachi for anti-polio campaigners.”  Elaborating the security arrangements, he said anti-polio teams were given foolproof security in Surjani Town where five police mobiles with 50 personnel were escorting 45 anti-polio teams and in Mominabad, 119 anti-polio teams were escorted by nine police mobiles with 119 personnel.

He said in Orangi Town, 60 anti-polio teams were escorted by seven police mobiles and 65 personnel. “In Saeedabad, 129 police personnel are working with 65 anti-polio teams. In Madina Colony, 42 anti-polio teams were being guarded by 50 personnel along with 50 policemen for 40 anti-polio teams in Baldia Town,” he said.

In Ittehad Town and Site areas, 153 anti-polio teams had been given the security of 287 policemen with 10 police mobiles.

Dahar said the Sindh health department was making its utmost efforts to make the province polio free. He also appreciated the role of media in creating awareness regarding effectiveness of anti-polio campaign.