Week-long Anti-Polio Drive in Sindh begins from Sept.20

Some 9.4 million children will be administered polio vaccine and vitamin A drops in 30 districts of province.

The provincial health department will also launch 2-week Measles Rubella Vaccine drive from November 15 to save the girls and women from Rubella virus

 Karachi: The week-long anti-polio campaign is being launched across Sindh from Monday September 20, 2021 during which 9.4 million children in 30 districts of the province will be vaccinated against the polio virus.

A meeting of the Provincial Task Force on Polio Eradication was held at the Sindh Secretariat with Provincial Health Minister Dr. Azra Pechoho and Acting Chief Secretary Sindh Qazi Shahid Pervez in the chair on Friday to review the arrangements. The meeting was attended by all the Divisional Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners, PPHI, WHO, EOC representatives and other officials.

It was informed by the health department that the concerned authorities have held meetings in all the 30 districts and the training of polio workers has been completed. In all 74435 polio workers would be part of the campaign.

Beside polio vaccine, vitamin A drops would also be administered to the children during the campaign, it was told.

The minister said that there was a need to keep an eye on the negative news on social media regarding the polio campaign. She said that the role of social mobilizers and influencers should be made more effective to persuade parents who earlier refused polio drops.

Dr. Azra Pechoho said that the significant reduction in polio virus cases in the country is a great achievement but the campaign starting from September 20 should focus on high risk areas.

Acting Chief Secretary Qazi Shahid Pervez directed the commissioners to run the polio campaign in such a way that 100 percent targets set by the polio campaign could be achieved. He directed all the Divisional Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners to further improve the performance of the polio workers.

Qazi Shahid Pervez said that people should cooperate with polio workers. He also directed authorities of Home Department to ensure security arrangements during the polio campaign.

Representatives of WHO and National Emergency Operations Center (EOC) who participated in the meeting through video link appreciated the performance of Sindh government regarding polio campaign and assured full cooperation.

Sindh Health Department has also planned to launch a 2-week drive from November 15 to 27 for Measles Rubella vaccination.

Steering Committee Meeting for Measles Rubella Campaign, 2021 was held on Thursday with health minister in the chair. The UNICEF, Pakistan Pediatric Association, WHO, EPI and EOC representatives had attended the meeting and discussed the Rubella illness, which is a mild illness with rash and fever however this can impact pregnant girls and women and leave an adverse effect on their fetus. It may cause blindness, deafness and heart disease. Rubella can also carry the possibility of death for the fetus.

Conducting Measles and Rubella Supplementary Immunization Activity (SIA) in November before the epidemic season will reduce the measles and rubella cases and associated complications. The measles vaccine will be replaced by the measles rubella vaccine and with the same routine immunization schedule, 9 months and 15 months of age.

The Minister stated that every concerned department should be on board with this drive, including the information department with timely and accessible awareness campaigns in all forms of media, the education department, to include private and public educational institutes, so as to bring the largest number of students in the vaccination coverage, LHWs, PPHIs, the Pediatric Association, NGOs, madrassas and so on. (PR)





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