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Three-day anti-polio drive begins in Hyderabad.

HYDERABAD -- A three-day Sindh National ImmuniAsation Day (SNID) anti-polAioAvirus campaign got under way in the city here on Monday. The campaign has added importance this time around as three back-to-back environmental samples of polio were found posiAtive with genetic seqAuencing, revealing that carrier of poliovirus had travelled from Lahore.

The drive would continue for three days. The fourth day would be reserved for catch-up cases.

In catch-up cases, women health workers find those children who remain unavailable at home for any reason and subsequently they are covered and administered polio drops. Doctors believed the period in which samples tested positive was attributable to seasonal migration in which people from different areas travelled and someone among them could be carrier of poliovirus. Sample in Hyderabad is collected from the designated pumping station of the city at Tulsidas Road of the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa).

Doctors also claimed that vaccination coverage among children of below five years age in the city remained 90 per cent and at times it was over 95pc. But the high-risk mobile population (HRMP) remained leading cause of virus' transmission.

The campaign was launAched when Divisional CommAiAsAsioner Mohammad Abbas Baloch administered polio drops to children in a district hospital. Polio eradication campaign focal person Dr Masood Jafri, divisional task force coordinator for polio eradication Dr Jamshed Khanzada and other officials were also present. The campaign was started from the government hospital located off Station Road where, according to some reports, most number of refusal cases by families had been indicated.

'We will try to cover refusal cases in the campaign and even those families will be repeatedly approached whose children remain unavailable for any other reason,' said Dr Masood Jafri. He said the campaign in Hyderabad had always been successful due to concerted efforts.

According to an official working on polio eradication at the provincial level, cross-border (Afghanistan) and regional movement is a huge challenge for them in eradication of poliovirus. They said they always remained concerned about broken sewerage system because sewage lines got mixed with water supply lines of Wasa.

While launching the campaign, the commissioner said the drive was launched in the area from where most refusal cases were reported. He said the reason for refusal cases was largely illiteracy.

He expressed satisfaction over the fact that no polio case was reported in Hyderabad. 'But the authoArities cannot remain complacent about it, considering the fact that environmental sample remains positive consistently,' he remarked. He said efforts were under way to make routine immunisation more efficient and people should submit complaints if polio drops were not administered in any area.

Dr Jafri said that 332,263 children would be inoculated against polio in four talukas of Hyderabad district and 1,048 women health workers, 83 doctors and 12 supervisors would participate in the drive. He said there were 117 fixed and 23 transit points which were accordingly identified.

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Publication:Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Mar 26, 2019
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