- Sindh CM says polio-free province so far
- Aseefa lauds anti-polio efforts
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has said that he was committed to eradicating polio from the province and added that this is a national issue and all the provincial governments have to combat polio in their respective areas, to eradicate the threat.
He expressed these views while presiding over `the Provincial Task Force Meeting for Polio Eradication’ at the CM House. Health Minister Dr Sikandar Mendhro, Rotary Ambassador for Polio Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, Sindh EOC Chairperson MNA Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon, Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar, Health Secretary Dr Fazlullah Pechuho , IG Police AD Khawaja, Polio Emergency Operation Centre Coordinator Fayaz Jatoi and representatives of federal government, UNICEF and WHO were also present on the occasion.
The chief minister said that he was giving extraordinary attention to polio drives by making security arrangements for the teams and monitoring the programme. Polio eradication is an achievable target “therefore, I want to make Sindh polio-free,” the CM added.
The Sindh CM was quite satisfied when he received the report that during the first five months of 2017 — no polio case has been reported in the province and it has been more than one year since Karachi and Northern Sindh have reported any polio case.
“I hope this year would prove to be a zero polio case year,” he said.
Briefing the meeting, Fayaz Jatoi said that during the first five months of 2017 only two polio cases have been reported in the country, one in Gilgit –Baltistan and one in Punjab. He added that during 2014, 30 polio cases had emerged in Sindh but the hard work of teams and the administration brought the figure down to 12 in 2015 and it went further down to eight in 2016.
The Sindh EOC coordinator further told the meeting that in Karachi the polio coverage is more than 90 percent and highlighted that numbers of refusal and missed children have been reduced drastically.
Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah also directed Health Minister Dr Sikanadar Mendhro to post District Health Officers (DHO) where these positions are vacant. “Don’t allow these positions on an additional charge for long because we have given ownership to polio work, therefore there must be proper working at every rank,” he said.
Aseefa Bhutto urged the polio teams to maintain a zero figure and to work hard to eradicate the virus. She said the maximum effort should be made to reach every child and expressed satisfaction that the local and provincial government is committed to this cause.
She later tweeted that she was happy that the mayor had shown real interest in the anti-polio campaign and that the provincial and local governments were working together on the issue.