KARACHI: Chief Minister of Sindh, Syed Qaim Ali Shah hereon Wednesday said no complacency will be tolerated in the ongoing polio eradication efforts across the province.
Presiding a meeting of Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI- Sindh), he said decline in the number of polio cases to 12 last year compared to 30 in 2014 is a positive sign yet can not be cause of any complacency.
“We have to achieve the target of zero polio case and ought to retain the status for three consecutive years till the province as well as the country is internationally recognized as polio virus free,” said the chief minister.
Syed Qaim Ali Shah said the PPP government was absolutely committed to the cause of polio eradication and for the purpose fool proof security coupled with other essential facilities have been ensured.
” Excuse can no more be accepted about inability of teams to ensure effective and timely vaccination rounds across the province,” he said reiterating that the exercise should be taken as a mission to protect children against crippling disease.
The chief minister also suggested that 22,565 Lady Health Workers (LHWs) in the province must also be efficiently involved in the routine immunization activities.
Syed Qaim Ali Shah directed provincial health minister Jam Mehtab Dahar to personally monitor the performance of vertical programmes in the province.
“An effective surveillance system to monitor performance of workers associated with these programmes would help us to achieve desired results,” he said.
Dr Agha Ashfaq, Project Director for EPI on the occasion said around 16,245 LHWs were presently engaged in immunization work and these were besides 2,685 vaccinators working at 1510 EPI centres in the province.
Dr Agha Ashfaq said EPI – Sindh was launched to eradicate, eliminate and also to reduce morbidity and mortality caused by vaccine preventable diseases such as poliomyelitis, measles, tuberculosis among children, diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus.
The meeting among others was also 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, Project Director of EPI – Sindh,Dr Agha Ashfaq and other concerned officers.
Sindh Minister for Health Jam Mehtab Dahar mentioning that significant reduction has been registered in the number of polio cases in 2015, said of the 12 cases no less than seven were reported from Karachi and six of these polio-affected children belonged to pashto speaking families.
Of the remaining five cases, he said two of these were reported from Dadu and one each from Sukkur, Khairpur and Kamber districts.