‘0.7m children to be provided anti-polio drops’

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KARACHI – A polio vaccination campaign was launched on Wednesday in a ceremony held at the Government Dispensary in Bath Island.
Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah inaugurated the ceremony for the anti-polio drive aimed at protecting children against the crippling disease.
The chief minister also administered polio vaccine drops to some of the children.
Later, talking with media persons, Shah said that Pakistan, particularly the province of Sindh, was passing through a critical stage in polio eradication as the highest number of polio cases were reported in the country during the first quarter of 2011 as compared to all other three remaining polio endemic countries – Afghanistan, India and Nigeria, collectively.
“Six polio cases were reported in the Sindh province as compared to only one in the same period during the last year,” said the chief minister.
“It is an endeavour of the present government to completely eradicate the scourge of polio from Sindh and full attention has been paid in 20 districts,” he said, adding that districts/town-specific action plans were also developed for nine high-risk districts and three towns that included Hyderabad, Ghotki, Jacobabad, Kambar, Kashmore, Khairpur, Larkana, Shikarpur, Sukkur districts and Karachi’s Baldia, Gadap and Gulshan-e- Iqbal towns.
Shah said that all district coordination officers (DCOs) of the province will be responsible for coordinating, supervising, monitoring and ensuring the completion of task related to the anti-polio campaign. The DCO.s have been given the responsibility for direct overseeing the polio eradication activities in their districts, he added.
The provincial chief minister said that around 700,000 children will be administrated anti-polio drops with some 18,000 health workers working to achieve the target.
Rotary International national chairman Abdul Aziz Memon, Sindh Health Minister Dr Sagheer Ahmed, Health Secretary Hashim Raza Zaidi, Adviser to Chief Minister Rashid Rabbani, Coordinator to Chief Minister Siddique Abu Bhai, Secretary to Chief Minister Alamuddin Bullo, Special Assistant to Chief Minister Waqar Mehdi, PPP-Karachi President Najmi Alam, the Health Services director general along with representatives from WHO and UNICEF among others were also present at the launching ceremony.

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