Eradication of polio top priority: Qaim

KARACHI: The Sindh government has acceded the recommendation of the Inter National Monitoring Board (IMB) for Polio eradication to establish Provincial Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) to co-ordinate /consolidate the efforts and ensure extensive monitoring of Polio eradication campaigns till the Sindh attend the status of polio free province in the country. This was decided in a high level meeting presided by Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah at CM House Karachi today. Dr. Azra Fazul Pechuho Provincial Chairperson Polio Eradication Over Sight Committee, Madam Shahnaz Wazir Ali Provincial Co-ordinator Polio Over Sight Committee, Chief Secretary Sindh Sajjad Saleem Hotiyana, Principal Secretary to CM Allamuddin Bullo, Secretary Home Dr. Niaz Abbasi, Consultant to CM Rai Sikandar, Dr. Altaf Hussain Bosan National focal person on Polio for PM Cell, Dr Ahmed Ali Shaikh Provincial focal person for CM Sindh Cell , Dr. Keith World Health Organization (W.H.O) Islamabad, Dr. Saleh (W.H.O)  Sindh, Dr Ms Huma from (UNICEF), Dr . Aslam Pechuho Additional Secretary Health, Dr. Mazhar Khamisani Head of EPI, Additional IG Karachi Police Ghulam Qadir Thebo, Deputy Commissioners of concern districts attended the meeting. Addressing the meeting the Chief Minister Sindh directed the Chief Secretary Sindh to notify the EOC and asked the concerned officers to make it functional from 1st July 2014. He said that Senior Govt representatives, religious leaders, officers from law enforcing agencies should be made key part this centre. he Chief Minister Sindh said that his Govt is giving top priority to eradicate the Polio menace completely from the province and management concerned is also working well but the influx from Northern areas (FATA) in the Karachi has became main factor and carrier of Polio virus in the province. The Chief Minister directed the Karachi police Chief to provide at least 1000 police personal and implement the security cordoned off modalities for the polio teams in the field. Expressing his concern over emergence of 6 polio cases all in Karachi and all in Pashtu speaking families in 2014, the Chief Minister directed the officers to focus special on the areas and communities, where this virus is circulating and to ensure 100% coverage of polio vaccination there along with existing and entering points of the city. He said that in spite of ongoing law & order and shortage of police force, full security would per provided to the polio teams during the anti polio camping and hopefully the Sindh would be polio free province shortly. The Provincial Chairperson for Polio over sighting Committee Dr. Azra Fazul Pechuho while talking in the meeting fully endorsed the recommendation of IMB for establishment of EOC in Sindh province. She said that this EOC would be linked with Family Health Care Cell (FHCC) to gain the more confidence of the communities and make polio campaign more success. She said that two special anti polio campaigns would be conducted in the month of June 2014 in Karachi for which strong security network is needed, Dr. Azra Fazul Pechuho recommended high level quarterly meeting to review and expedite the anti polio campaign. Earlier, provincial focal person on polio for CM Sindh Dr. Ahmed Ali Shaikh briefed the meeting and said that from 2009 to 2014, 30 polio cases had been reported from same 35 union councils of Karachi mostly  fallen in the Jurisdiction of Distt west. He said that since July 2013, till date 13 cases have been reported and all cases except 1 were from Pashtu Speaking areas of Karachi. He said in the year 2014 (To date) 6 polio cases have been reported from category-I UCS of Karachi, despite implementation of 8 weekly special campaigns in the same UC. He recommended that one day campaigns did not stopped the polio virus as such 3- days special campaigns is needed for Karachi.

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