13.33mn children to be immunized against measles in Sindh

Sameer Nazir
KARACHI: The Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah inaugurated 13-days long Special Immunization Campaign against Measles in Sindh by injecting anti-measles vaccine to a child at Chief Minister house Karachi today in a simple ceremony.
The Sindh Minister for health Dr. Sagheer Ahmed was also present and also administered the anti-measles vaccine to a child. This simple but impressive ceremony was also attended by the Chief Secretary Sindh Sajjad Saleem Hotyana, Secretary Health Mr. Iqbal Durani, Secretary GA&Coord. Shafique Mahesar, Mr. Qamar-ul-Hassan from WHO Islamabad, Mr. Arif Aslam from UNICEF Karachi, Mr. Wandeay from WHO Karachi and Mr. Mazhar Ali Khamisani PD-EPI Sindh and other officers of the Sindh Government.
During the inauguration ceremony, the provincial secretary Health Mr. Iqbal Durani briefed the Chief Minister that this 13-days long special immunization campaign is being launched with the collaboration of Gavi-World Health Organization with total joint investment of Rs. 1050 million. He said that out of this amount Rs. 800million being spent on the purchase of vaccines, while Rs. 250million would be incurred on its operational activities throughout the province.
Mr. Durrani further elaborated that at least 13.33million children between age group from 6months to 10 years have been targeted to be immunized with the help of 6959 skilled persons and 130,181 social mobilizers in 1120 union councils of 29 districts of the province. He said that the social mobilizers have been assigned to conduct house to house visit, mobilize the children of targeted age group and bring them to the nearest hospitals or vaccination site for the purpose.
Talking on the occasion, the Chief Minister Sindh said that PPP Government was giving top priority to the health services to ailing people and has earmarked Rs. 17billion in current budget for the purpose. He said that though we are investing huge fund to cure the patients but more awareness for care of diseases is needed. He said that care is better than cure and the organizations within the government and private sector to concentrate on this issue. The Chief Minister Sindh said that Measles, Polio, Hepatitis B,C and other fatal diseases are the challenges to the individuals and organizations concerned and these could be combated with success only with joint efforts of the government and community.
The Chief Minister stressed upon the print and electronic media to sensitize people about this issue through their news and views for maximum vaccination of the children. The Chief Minister also stressed upon the political and social workers to get the children of their area vaccinated from this fatal disease.
The Chief Minister also stressed upon the people to avail the opportunity of Extended Program of Immunization (EPI) available at each hospital and get their children vaccinated from all diseases.