Four-day anti-polio drive kicks off in Sukkur

SUKKUR: A four-day anti-polio campaign covering more than 269,208 children below five years of age kicked off in Sukkur district on Monday, District Health Officer (DHO) Dr. Abdul Wahab Mahar said.


Dr. Mahar said 926 mobile health teams were operating in the district to complete immunisation.

Anti-polio drops are to be administered at all health centres, he said, adding that staff deployed for the campaign had been issued special instructions and no negligence would be tolerated.

The DHO said continuous efforts were being made to control polio and that special teams had also been formed to cover areas where complaints about unattended children had been registered.

Dr. Mahar encouraged parents to come forward and play their role for the elimination of polio. “Parents should cooperate with the special teams so the set targets can be achieved,” he added.

He also urged religious scholars, elected representatives, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the local community to help make the anti-polio drive successful.

Polio, which can cause life-long paralysis, can be prevented with a simple vaccination.

Pakistan is one of only two countries in the world where polio remains endemic, but efforts to eradicate the poliovirus have been severely hindered in recent years as militants continue to attack immunisation teams and polio workers.

During a meeting of the provincial task force on polio eradication at the Sindh Secretariat earlier this month, EOC chairperson Azra Fazal Pechuho said the last polio case reported in Sindh was in February 2015.

However, an 18-month-old hailing from a Pashtun family living in Karachi was diagnosed with the disease last week.