Anti-polio drive suspended in Karachi

Karachi: The three-day anti-polio drive was suspended in Karachi after brutal murder of three polio campaign workers in Qayyumabad area of city on Tuesday.

Talking to PPI, Deputy Project Manager Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) Sindh Dr Durrey Naaz confirmed that polio campaign had been suspended in the city after the killing of three polio workers, but the campaign would continue in other parts of Sindh province.

She informed that a meeting of high-ups would be held in this evening to decide whether the polio-drive should resume in the city on Wednesday or not. She said: “The polio campaign will resume on Wednesday if the proper security is provided to polio workers.

She said that the incident of polio workers killing were reported in Qayyumabad which was not high risk area like Gadap and Baldia. She informed that the security personnel were present in the area for the security of the anti-polio teams, but were with that team members who were gunned down.

Chairperson All Pakistan Lady Health Workers Employees Association Sindh Khair-un-Nisa Memon said anti-polio drive had been suspended across the province.

She said presidents of all other provinces polio health workers have showed sympathy with him over killing three workers.

She claimed that provincial presidents of Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa had contacted her and they also vowed to boycott the polio campaign in their respective provinces until the provision of security for anti-polio workers.

It may be noted that authorities had launched a three-day anti-polio campaign in Karachi from 20 to 22 January 2014. According to information, 5,800 teams had been formed to complete the task of vaccinating 2.0 million children in three days in Karachi. The campaign would also be remained suspended in SITE, Gadap Town and Baldia Town due to security reasons on first day of campaign.

Health Department sources said that polio teams were administering anti-polio drops in the area sans any security. The attack comes a day after three-day anti-polio vaccination campaign was kicked off in Karachi, excluding some sensitive areas.