KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has expressing his serious reservation on emergence of one polio case in Karachi said it has undone all the hard work that was put in to make the city polio free. This he said while presiding over a meeting of Task Force for Polio Eradication here at the New Sindh Secretariat Thursday.
Provincial Coordinator Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) for polio Fayaz Jatoi giving presentation said that Karachi had made huge progress towards polio eradication and even the environment samples were clear until March 2017, following which the virus reappeared and subsequently resulted in a case of polio in a 7-month child whose family used to refuse vaccination.
He proposed that in order to reverse situation, all efforts must be made, including the engagement of 5000 newly recruited medical staff in EPI/PEI, making health facilities functional in underserved areas and increasing the accountability of low performing officers. He proposed that there should be legislation for making it compulsory to vaccinate against polio in Sindh so we may get rid of the polio virus once in for all.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah expressing his serious concerns on detection of a polio virus in a 7-month child said “this one case has undone all the efforts and hard work put in to make city polio free,” he added the local community elders and other compelling personalities such as religious leaders should be involved in the campaign to motivate the parents that polio vaccine was necessary to eradicate crippling diseases.
“I would personally visit the areas where refusal rate is high,” he vowed and directed the commissioner Karachi to make necessary arrangements for his visit. He also urged the Mayor to accompany him in his special visit to high risk areas. He directed the health department to make all their health facilities functional by appointing necessary staff. “I want to provide health services to all the people living unserved areas, therefore they have such facilities near to them,” he said. The chief minister said that in 2016 there were eight polio cases in Sindh and this year only one case has been reported.
The chief minister was told that people from KPK and FATA frequently visit Karachi. They are the careers of polio virus that’s why a new case has emerged in the city. On this the chief minister termed it a lame excuse for local failure. He went on saying “KPK and FATA are so far polio free area, how people can bring polio virus from polio free zone,” he questioned and directed the health department, divisional administration and the others concerned to take drastic measures of control the situation.
It was pointed out in the meeting that positive environmental samples in Kambar was found August 2017. On this the chief minister directed minister health to remove district Health Officer (DHO) of Kambar immediately and report him.
Mr Fayaz Jatoi briefing the chief minister on situation Krachi said that polio virus transmission has re-established in Karachi. Seven out of nine environmental sample sites in 2017 have been found positive. “This is why a polio case has been detected in Gulshan-i-Iqbal after 19 months of polio free Karachi,” he said. On this the chief minister directed the Mayor Karachi Waseem Akhtar to hold a meeting with all the chairmen of DMCs and give them clear instructions to mobilse their health department to fight against polio. He also directed commissioner Karachi to give him performance report of his deputy commissioners whether they were supporting polio teams or not. Talking a policy decision, he said the promotions of DHOS and adl DHOs would be made on the basis of their performance in polio eradication work.