Extreme care needed towards maintenance of OPV cold chain mechanism

KARACHI: Karachiites, expressing their concern about persistence of polio virus in the metropolis, have urged the concerned authorities to review arrangements made for maintenance of cold chain during each OPV administration campaign in the province.
Many of the parents talking to APP Friday said the province that has registered 10 polio cases this year, including nine from Karachi only and one from Sanghar is a cause of serious concern.
They said the situation demanded that targeted group of children pertaining to families not averse to OPV administration are provided extra protection and care. “This is with particular reference to maintenance of the vaccine quality as according to current practice we often found volunteers and vaccinators carrying small buckets with ice almost melted,” said Yasmin Mukhtar, a resident of North Karachi.
In reply to a question, she said each of the vial may have a system reflecting its efficacy yet the fact remain that under the given weather and environmental conditions extreme care has to be ensured towards maintenance of the cold chain.
Mohammad Mutahir, a father of six from Gulshan e Iqbal said most of the polio-affected children in Karachi, this year, belonged to families with a track record of refusals. “The fact further aggravates our concern that any complacency with regard to quality maintenance of the vaccine can enhance vulnerability of other children who may have been duly immunized,” he said. Dr Abbas Raza agreeing to the concern of the parents said there always remain chances where a child who might have taken required doses of OPV may still be struck with the virus of the crippling disease.
“The plausible intervention is across the board immunization of all children without any distinction,” said the doctor advising authorities to ensure a fool proof strategy turning concerned parents compliant to state writ.
“We have to achieve the zero prevalence vis a vis polio virus and also sustaining it for three consecutive years to be declared as polio free,” said an EPI - Sindh official.
He hinted that provincial government is contemplating to adopt a strict approach ensuring that no refusals are tolerated.
“This is all the more important as a steady number of children kept unvaccinated, due to no fault of their own, are arriving here and we have to cater them too,” said the official.
He confirmed that the latest case of polio positive is that of a five and a half year Mohammad Umair son of M.Siddique, resident of North Karachi. Against a total number of 108 confirmed polio cases in the country this year Sindh has reported 10 including one from Sanghar. As for its capital four children tested positive from Gadap Town and one each from Baldia, SITE town, Landhi, North Karachi and Orangi. 

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