KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said Monday that December 16 was an unfortunate date in the history of Pakistan on which the nation faced fall of Dhaka in 1971, witnessed killing of 132 innocent children in Army Public School attack in 2014 and now the nation was facing crippling virus of polio in which 104 cases have so far been detected all over Pakistan.
“I think December 16 is the date on which we have to reiterate our national commitment to eradicate polio and evolve a strategy to stop the incident like Army Public School attack,” he said while talking to media on Monday just after inaugurating the 50-day polio eradication drive by administering polio drops to children at Janat Gul Hospital, UC-4, Gadap. He was accompanied by Minister Information Saeed Ghani.
The chief minister said that on Dec 16, our innocent children were killed in APC, Peshawar. “I pray for the children who lost their lives and also pray to the Almighty Allah to grant courage to their parents to come out of the pain which is alive in the heart and soul of every one of us.”
Shah said that he had been chairing a meeting before the start of every campaign. “My efforts had borne fruit and we had only two cases of polio in 2018, but this year has become quite horrible for us with emergence of 16 cases in Sindh,” he deplored and went on saying that those new cases had emerged because of the migration from Afghanistan, Peshawar and Balochistan, but “I won’t make it an excuse- every child coming to Sindh is our child and we have to take care of him”.
Shah said that after a gap of six months, this fresh campaign had been launched today, December 16 to 20, and it would be our utmost efforts to achieve the target of giving polio vaccines to all the 9,087,234 children under five.
He said that a proper inquiry had been conducted to trace each and every polio case, its causes and origin. “The inquiries have revealed that most of the cases had happened in Gadap area and the reason is travelling,” he said and added, therefore, he decided to launch the campaign from Gadap area.
Shah said that the prime minister had held a meeting on polio eradication a year ago and had urged him to keep holding such meetings so that this menace to the new generation could be eradicated. “I don’t know whether more meetings were held by the prime minister or not, but we have to wage war against this crippling virus,” he said.
To a question, Shah said that after the emergence of 16 new cases in the province, he had changed the strategy by involving all the elected representatives right from union council to provincial assembly members. “Our health minister had given a briefing to all the assembly members and requested them to involve personally so that we can defeat polio,” he said.
The chief minister said that the refusal would not be accepted this time. He urged each and every parent to cooperate with the polio workers and ensure proper vaccination to their children. “This is our collective responsibility to administer polio vaccine to our children,” he said.
Earlier, Shah at Janat Gul Hospital, Gadap administered polio drops to children.