City administration vows zero tolerance for refusals in upcoming anti-polio drive
KARACHI: With the city’s first polio case of the year reported at the end of last month, the Karachi administration has decided in principle to not accept any refusals, either by parents or guardians, during the latest vaccination drive that is to commence on September 16 and aims to cover 2.2 million children in 188 union councils.
A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting presided by Karachi Commissioner Ejaz Ahmed Khan to review arrangements made for the forthcoming vaccination campaign. Khan advised the officials concerned that it would be preferable if the 9,000 teams of vaccinators were assigned responsibilities in their respective areas of residence. He said the move would help in not only addressing the frequently raised issue of public confidence but could also reduce chances of parents refusing mandatory OPV administration.
“Belonging to the same area as the targeted children will enable the vaccinators to gain better access to the people and efficiently address the pressing challenge posed by refusal cases,” said the commissioner.
He directed the deputy commissioners of all districts of the city to also take on board community leaders and influential members of the areas falling under their jurisdiction to avert any difficult situation.
Regretting that a confirmed case of polio was reported from Karachi, he said that although the child with almost no history of vaccination had moved to the metropolis from another province a few months ago, yet it is an unfortunate development and has enhanced the vulnerability of other kids.
“We at every level have to continue our efforts to convince parents in particular and people in general about the importance of polio vaccination, including OPV, plays in protecting children against the crippling disease,” the commissioner said.
The meeting, among others, was also attended by provincial coordinator of the Emergency Operations Centre for Polio, Fayyaz Jatoi, additional commissioner of Karachi, Farhan Ghani, city commissioner’s coordinator anti-polio taskforce, Dr Nusrat Ali, WHO representative, Dr Abdur Rahman Mahmud, and also those representing Unicef, Bill Gates Foundation and the Rotary Club.