KARACHI – Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah has directed the health department to resume polio eradication initiatives starting July 20 so that the crippling virus can be eradicated together with ongoing efforts to contain COVID-19 in the province.
This he said while chairing a meeting of the Provincial Task Force on the Eradication of Polio at CM House on Saturday, said a statement.
The meeting was attended by provincial ministers, Dr. Azra Fazal Pechuho, Nasir Shah, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, IG Mushtaq Maher Police, ACS Home Usman Chachar, provincial secretary, Dr. Shaukat Chandio from UNICEF, Dr. Aslif Demissie from WHO, Provincial Coordinator of EOC Fayaz Abbasi , Shahnaz wazire Ali, Aziz Memon from Rotary International and others.
EOC Coordinator Fayaz Abbasi explained to the Chief Minister that there were 58 cases of polio in the country, of them 20 in Sindh, 21 in the KPK, 14 in Balochistan and three in Punjab. The most recent case in Sindh was reported on June 9, 2020.
The Chief Minister was told that 16 Derived Polio Virus 2 (VDPV2) Vaccines were isolated from 10 environmental sites in Sindh, six in 2019 and 10 in 2020.
In Karachi, 15 VDPV2 were isolated from nine sites including the Western District City – Site, Orangi Nalla, Qasaba Colony and Border Colony. In the East-Gadap Town district: Sohrab Goth and Machar Colony. In the village of Malir-Bakhtawar, Landhi City. In the Korangi district – Korangi City and its territory including Korangi Nullah. In the Southern-Hijrah Colony district of Saddar City while in Sukkur: VDPV2 was isolated from Makka Pump Station.
In March 2020, 100 samples of healthy children were collected from UC draining from the Orangi Nalla Site, one sample was found positive for VDPV2 from the Central District-North Nazimabad. There were two human cases of VDPV2 from Karachi SITE and the city of Baldia in May 2020.
The Chief Minister was told that COVID-19 had a negative impact on the Polio Eradication Initiative in Pakistan for some reason. They include all types of polio campaigns which have been stopped since March 2020; The impact of AFP surveillance is reflected in the decline in reported AFP cases; coverage of essential immunizations for EPI antigens decreased by more than 50 percent from coverage before COVID-19 and the transit point vaccination program was stopped since March 2020.
It was shown that an average of 700,000 children under five can be vaccinated every month. Without any vaccination, transmission began to spread geographically since September 2020 with most of the transmission focused on the North, Central and South Corridors and Karachi.
Alternating Number Identification Numbers (SNIDs) and NIDs between July 2020 and February 2021 have a major impact on the transmission of Wild Poliovirus Type-1 (WPV1) and caseload.
The Modules for Additional Immunization Activities (SIA) have been revised with the aim of not introducing COVID-19 to previously uninfected communities; polio worker screening to find out symptoms to reduce risk to the household.
Health workers are urged to use masks, cleansers and ensure limited physical contact, especially with adults, reducing risks to households; Children at low risk for COVID-19 infection, disease, transmission.
Risks to polio workers can be significantly reduced by coming from the same community, avoiding contact with symptomatic individuals (especially adults), reducing unnecessary contact and reducing the risk of infection (PPE (masks) and hand sanitizers, physical distance.
Chief Minister Sindh directed the health department to launch a special campaign at 23 UC Central and Western Districts to immunize 26,742 children.
Western District including Pahar Ganj -2,599 children. Paposh Nagar 1 9475 children, Abbasi Shaeed-11 7052 children, Nazimabad-1 to 10: 8207 children, Rizvia Society 1: 7261 children. Banaras colony -7: 9589 children, Bawani Chali-5: 10164 children, border colonies 12277 children, Islamia Colony 7888 children, Qasba colony 12919 children.
The Chief Minister directed the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to share national guidelines for vaccinations during COVID-19 with all vaccinators and PPE can be distributed to vaccinators in the province. He urged the EOC responsible for checking the proper use of PPE and COVID-19 vaccination guidelines that were examined during the monitoring visit.
Syed Murad Ali Shah directed the EOC to launch a monthly campaign from July to December with WHO support. He added that five mobile vaccination vans might be deployed with the support of Interactive Research & Development (IRD) at UC High Risk in Karachi.
It was decided to protect field staff and the community; therefore, PPE will be given to each field staff during the campaign round. Five and seven surgical masks will be given to each member of the cellular team. Field staff will have hand sanitizers, thermometers and gloves.
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