‘12 UCs of Karachi Central at high polio risk’

KARACHI: Deputy Commissioner District Central Karachi Dr. Syed Saifur Rehman here on Monday identified 12 union councils in the district as at high risk due to reported instances of refusals by concerned parents in getting their under five year old children vaccinated against polio virus.

Talking to media following a Polio Monitoring Committee meeting held at his office to review arrangements being made for a three day national anti-polio campaign to begin from September 29 in district Central, the deputy commissioner said more than 0.3 million children of under 5 years age will be administered polio drops during the exercise.

Dr. Saifur Rehman said as many as 12 union councils are being declared at high risk in the district and extra efforts would be made to ensure that no child pertaining to target age group is denied of their right to quality and disability free life.

“We are trying our best to convince parents to get all their children of this age administered polio drops and Vitamin A dose,” he said.

The DC of Karachi central said the percentage of refusal in the district is 2.7 and that refusals were also registered in certain posh localities while those refusing or resisting vaccination of their children mostly pertained to Pushto and Gujrati speaking communities.

All efforts are being made to address this issue and situation is improving fast he said. “Help is also being sought from religious scholars as Imam e Kaaba and other scholars have already issued fatwas in favor of polio drops to prevent this crippling disease,” he added.

In reply to a question Dr. Saif ur Rehman said a total number of 370,842 children of five years of age or below will be administered OPV drops along with Vitamin A dose during the comprehensive campaign being launched after a lapse of six months.

Deputy Commissioner of district Central Karachi mentioned that campaigns launched previously were disturbed due to law and order situation however fool-proof measures have been adopted this time to provide complete security to all polio teams which numbers more than 1150.

Dr. Saif ur Rehman said all other preparations have been completed and doses of vaccine are also being delivered. The polio monitoring meeting was attended by the representatives of World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, rangers, police, town health officials, supervisors and other relevant officials.

On the occasion WHO representative Dr. Faizan presented performance and monitoring reports of Gulberg, North Karachi, Liaquatabad and North Nazimabad towns. He said that EPI as well district administration must put more emphasis on refusal cases and get parents convinced to allow vaccination of their children coupled with improved monitoring by polio supervisors.