Polio campaign begins ‘smoothly’ in Sindh KARACHI: The six-day polio campaign began in the city and the remaining 23 districts of Sindh as per schedule with no incident of violence being reported on the first day of the drive, officials said.
Officials said the campaign, which will continue till Saturday, was simultaneously launched from the cities of Karachi and Hyderabad to the desert of Thar, mountainous districts and riverine food baskets of Sindh.
The exercise will target 8.3 million children aged five or less, with around 2.2 million based in Karachi.
They said some 9,000 teams were deployed in the six districts of Karachi with 1,900 area in-charges and approximately 5,300 policemen and 200 Rangers personnel for security.
They claimed deployment of the security personnel was better on the first day as it remained in time.
“The campaign went smoothly in the whole of Sindh on the first day and deployment was timely,” said a senior official in the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) for polio in Sindh.
The policemen guarded the polio teams which are to cover especially those areas where authorities have found an increase in the number of children who missed previous immunisation campaigns.
City commissioner Ejaz Ahmed Khan administered polio drops to children at Sobhraj Maternity Hospital where he said the number of families denying polio boosters to their children was decreasing.
Beefed up police patrolling, snap checking and advance intelligence collection system will feature during the campaign.
Sindh has four polio cases so far this year with one each in Karachi and Jacobabad and two in Shikarpur district. These districts are on the top of the government’s polio effort, said officials.
Officials said a fresh micro-plan had been prepared, and now they had an updated picture about all the indicators and figures vis-a-vis the next polio campaigns.
An official said the numbers of children were to be updated as that would ensure that no children born or migrated to the city had gone without receiving a polio booster.
“We have the perfect opportunity to eradicate polio in Sindh,” said,” the coordinator of the EOC for polio in Sindh.
He said for more than four months all environment samples of Sindh were negative, which was a ‘huge success’.
“Pakistan has the opportunity to end the virus circulation and eradicate polio from within and the world,” said an official.