KARACHI: Despite the numerous measures taken by Sindh Government in order to eradicate Polio virus from the Province, two more cases were reported from Gadap Town UC-5 and UC-6 on Monday.

However, Mudasir son of Khanzada, 22 months old, resident of UC 5 Gadap and both legs are affected. He had not received any of the doses out of 4 whereas, Shayan son of Shahid Alam, 47 months old, resident of UC 6 Gadap whose right leg is affected (received 3+7 doses) was reported the second vitim of Polio, increasing the toll to four Polio-Cases in Karachi and 9 from Sindh, this year

However, Coordinator, Emergency Operation Center (EOC) for Polio, Govt. of Sindh– Dr. Usman Chachar, said that, this is extremely unfortunate as this is becoming a bad end to an otherwise good year in which we have seen a significant drop in polio cases.

“It is also very sad that two young children will have to carry the burden of disability. EOC Sindh has expressed this concern on numerous occasions that despite vaccinating children, there has been persistence of the polio virus in the environment which inevitably will result in polio cases. We have done well to reduce cases from last year but this is not enough, if the virus has to be stopped it has to be stopped immediately.” Adding that “We have devised a strategy to interrupt the virus circulation and the next 6 months are critical, they are make or break for polio.”

The essence of this strategy is ruthless accountability, an honest re assessment of security provision and ensuring its deployment, strengthening the functionality of Provincial EOC and District Polio Control Rooms and strengthening work in high risk union councils through further involving the communities.

POLITICAL LEADERSHIP COMMITTED TO ERADICATE POLIO:

On the other hand, Provincial Minister for Health, Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar had said that current Political Leadership is committed to eradicate epidemic and viral diseases like Polio, Tuberculosis, AIDS and Hepatitis while comprehensive plan is being implemented for new born child and mother and adolescent health.

This he said while chairing a meeting on Extended Program for Immunization (EPI) with Federal Minister for State Saira Afzal Tarrar here in new Secretariat Building. On this occasion federal Minister Saira Afzal Tarrar told that through Prime Minister’s National Health Insurance Programme, a total of 978,040 families in Sindh could be benefitted and the Federal Government was providing support in terms of coordination, planning, standardizing and regulation, international collaboration and resource mobilization. Replying to a query, she said that Federal funding for MNCH 2015 – 16 was Rs. 169 million and LHW program was Rs. 1540 million.

 “There was a dire need to take drastic actions to eradicate diseases in the society. Eradication of Polio in Karachi means ending of Polio in the country as well.” Said Dahar. He further said that Provincial and Federal Governments were on the same page and accountability of the all stakeholders was the need of the hour to make EPI Program a success.

Dahar said that no go areas had been made accessible to administer polio drops and we are getting positive results of the efforts Federal Secretary Ayub Shaikh, Senator Ayesha Farooq, Secretary Health Dr. Saeed Ahmed Mangnejo, DG Health Dr. Hasan Murad Shah and other officers also attended the meeting.

Meeting was held to review the progress in the province of Sindh and the special focus on Karachi under the leadership of Chief Secretary Sindh at Sindh Secretariat. Federal Minister of Health Saira Afzal, PM Focal Person for polio Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq, Minister of Health Sindh Jam Mehtab Dar, Chair Person EOC Sindh Madam Azra Pechuho, Commissioner Karachi Shoab Siddiqui, Coordinator EOC Sindh Dr, Muhammad Usman Chachar, Coordinator National EOC, Dr. Rana Muhammad Safdar, National Technical Consultant Dr. Altaf Bossan, Technical Focal Person Sindh Dr. Ahmad Ali Shaikh. Team leaders from UNICEF and WHO and members of Rotary, deputy commissioners.

While, on the directives of Commissioner Karachi–Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui, catch up activity regarding Polio, is likely to be started from today in high-risk  Union Councils for 7968 children, being left from the polio immunization (held from November 23-29). The immunization campaign will continue till December 3.