Sindh CM for scaling up anti-polio drive after two new cases 

MN Report 04:00 PM, 9 Jul, 2024
Sindh CM for scaling up anti-polio drive after two new cases 

KARACHI: Expressing his displeasure over the detection of two new polio cases in the province, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has directed the health department to intensify efforts to eradicate the disease and fulfill the government's commitment to polio eradication.
During a meeting at the CM House to evaluate the progress of polio eradication initiatives, the chief minister was briefed about two polio cases detected in May and June 2024. The first case involved a 30-month-old malnourished boy from the Jatoi tribe in the Lakhi area of Shikarpur, who tested positive for polio on May 11, 2024. 
Health Minister Dr. Azra Fazal informed the CM that the child's condition was improving, and the paralysis had subsided. She said that 73 percent of children within six union councils of Shikarpur had been administered IPV.
EOC Coordinator Irshad Sodhar mentioned that the child had received three doses of RI OPV and two doses of IPV. 
The second case involved a three-year-old girl from the Malkani tribe in UC Keamari-3 of Karachi, diagnosed with polio on June 3, 2024. The affected child had received three doses of RI OPV, two doses of IPV, and over seven doses of SIAs. 
In response to this case, 18,000 children were vaccinated with OPV, and over 4,000 children received the IPV booster dose. 
Positive messages from local influencers and doctors were shared on social and mass media, and awareness campaigns were conducted in affected areas.
The CM stressed the need to sustain high-quality immunization campaigns with little margin of error in Karachi due to the significant risk posed by the spread of the poliovirus. He also stressed the assessment of under-reported missed children and other risk factors, especially in-migrant settlements.
Mr Sodhar said that a special targeted activity was initiated to cover high-risk and under-immunized children as directed by the chief secretary. Over 600 outreach sites were set up in 183 UCs to target children who were still missed, persistently missed (PMCs), and zero-dose, along with administering the booster IPV dose, he said, adding that so far, 38,920 children have been vaccinated with OPV, and 18,710 children have received IPV.
In Karachi, environmental surveillance detected the poliovirus in Sohrab Goth, Machhar Colony, Chakora Nalla, Rashid Minhas in September 2023. In June, the environmental surveillance results of Machhar Colony and Chakora Nala came negative. However, Khamiso Goth, Mohammad Khan Colony, Orangi Nalla, Bakhtawar Goth, Korangi Nalla, Haji Mureed Goth, Hijrat Colony, and Manzoor Colony have positive environmental surveillance results.
The CM has instructed the health department to ramp up efforts for polio eradication.