Detection of four polio cases is alarming: Qaim
KARACHI—Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has said that his government was working hard to eradicate polio but due to different reasons due results have not been achieved so far. It is quite alarming and painful for me that in northern parts of Sindh polio cases have been detected for which emergent measures must be taken to control the situation.
This he said while presiding over a special meeting on polio, provision of water and on the cleanliness issues of the city here this evening, says a statement here on Sunday.
Asifa Bhutto Zardari specially attended the meeting. Others who attended the meeting include MNAAzra Pechuho, provincial ministers Jam Mehtab Dahar, Jam Khan Shoro and representatives of health, local government, KMC.
The meeting was told that four polio cases have been detected in 2016, of them two in Shikarpur, one in Jacobabad and one in Gadap. It was observed that interior areas of Sindh were over all on track with pockets of virus circulating in Northern districts, specially Larkana division (Jacobabad, Sikarpur and Sukkur).
The meeting was informed that the environmental samples off and on were found positive in Gadap town but April was the only fortunate month in which samples were found negative. “If the virus keeps circulating in some areas it means there is risk of spread of the virus,” said MNA Dr Azra Pechuho.
Programme Manager of Anti-Polio programme Dr Usman Chachar said that low population immunity, low routine immunization, high number of polio vaccine refusals in Karachi and zero dose routine immunization are some of the major issues in the province.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah directed the Chief Secretary to delegate powers to commissioners for prompt action and accountability in respect of polio campaigns.
He ordered issuance of notification of divisional task forces for Karachi, Sukkur and Larkana for oversight and management. Chief Minister also issued directives for establishment of emergency Response Unit at Larkana and technical support unit at Karachi.
“I want the Health Department, divisional and district administration to collectively focus on routine immunization and synergy with polio eradication activities,” he said.
Talking about interior areas of Sindh, the Chief Minister stressed on the need of vaccination of moving population at parks, trains and at bus stops and more focus may be made on high risk population movement to and from KPK and FATA.
Asifa Bhutto Zardari said that frequent meetings are not enough but “you have to be focused and result-oriented,” she said and added “We should make ourselves accountable in the sense that what results we have achieved from our efforts made so far.