KARACHI: Karachi Commissioner Ejaz A Khan chaired a meeting on Monday to ensure a foolproof implementation of the micro plan developed for the six-day polio vaccination campaign that is to commence from January 22 in Karachi. The plan aims to vaccinate about 2.2 million children under the age of five and will cover 188 Union Councils of the metropolis.
Commissioner directed the polio team to adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards people refusing to get their children vaccinated. He also urged the members of the Task Force for Elimination of Polio to carry out the work with due diligence and to take all relevant stakeholders on board.
“Mothers must be motivated to cooperate with the teams with equal attention towards strengthening the monitoring mechanism,” said the Karachi Commissioner.
Calling the Sindh Chief Minister, Murad Ali Shah’s ambition has for a total eradication of poliovirus from the province, he said that the responsibility has to be taken by everyone at all levels.
Participants of the meeting extensively discussed problems faced due to the refusals on part of certain communities and shared series of proposals to address the situation.
It was decided that on basis of coordination among stakeholders, the vaccinators and teams of polio workers will be made accountable for their performance. Moreover, parents would also be approached to cooperate with the polio teams through direct involvement of influential members of the concerned communities.
“We have to particularly convince the mothers of the targeted population to assert themselves in getting their under-five children administered oral polio vaccine without any failure,” said Sindh Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) Coordinator Fayyaz Jatoi, Coordinator.
It was also agreed that the volunteers serving as vaccinators will necessarily be made to serve in their respective areas of residence in order to minimize the scepticism of people in relation to the vaccinators.
Town Health Officers (THOs) from across the metropolis and Deputy Commissioners of different districts also shared the strategies in order to formulate an effective plan for the vaccination campaign. Karachi Additional Commissioner, Farhan Agha, Coordinator, Karachi Commissioner Task Force for elimination of Polio, Dr.Nusrat Ali and representatives of World Health Organisation (WHO) , the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Bill Gates Foundation were also among the participants of the meeting.
A tribute was given to Dr Imdadullah Siddiqui, who recently retired from the active government service, for his tireless services to control and prevent polio.