KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has directed the health department to take all out efforts to control polio in Sindh during 2016. “Though the polio cases have come down from 30 in 2014 to 12 in 2015 yet this cannot be appreciated.”
He said this while presiding over a meeting of Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) here at the CM House today. The meeting was attended by Minister for health Jam Mehtab Dahar, Chief Secretary Siddique Memon, Additional Chief Secretary Aijaz ALi Khan, Principal Secretary Alamuddin Bullo, Secretary Health Saeed Mangnijo, PD EPI Dr Agha Ashfaq and other concerned officers.
Minister Health Jam Mehtab Dahar briefing the chief minister said that during 2014, 30 polio cases were reported in Sindh. “In 2015 it has shown a decline of 18 cases and only 12 cases were reported all over Sindh.” he said and added that out of 12 cases seven have occurred in Karachi, of them six polio-affected children belong to Pashto speaking families.
Giving further breakup of the 12 polio cases, the minister said that two cases have been reported from Dadu and each one in Sukkur , Khairpur and Kamber districts and remaining seven in Karachi.
The chief minister said that it was his commitment to eradicate polio from the province. “I have given you security and other necessary facilities, therefore every vaccination round must be conducted in time and effectively. This is not only the question of my commitment but it should be taken as a mission to save future generation from this crippling disease,” he said.
EPI Project Director Dr Agha Ashfaq said that there were 1510 EPI centres in Sindh where 2,685 Vaccinators were working. On this the chief minister said that there were 22,565 Lady Health Workers (LHWs) and it was high time to utilise their services in routine immunization activities. The PD said that 16,245 LHWs have been involved in immunization but more would be involved now.
Briefing about EPI, Dr Agha Ashfaq said that the programme was launched to eradicate, eliminate and reduce morbidity and mortality caused by vaccine preventable diseases such as Poliomyelitis, Measles, Childhood Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, Whooping Cough and Tetanus.
Under the EPI necessary measures have been taken to control the targeted diseases. On this the chief minister directed Minister Health Jam Mehtab Dahar to personally monitor the performance of vertical programmes. ‘If these programme function properly and their effective surveillance system is evolved we would be able to achieve congenial results,” he observed.