Polio drive in eight ‘high-risk’ UCs begins

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KARACHI: A five-day polio drive was launched on Tuesday in eight ‘high-risk’ union councils of Malir, east and west districts, targeting some 240,000 children, officials said.

They added that 1,285 teams started vaccinating the children against polio in Muzaffarabad Colony, Gujro, Songal, Manghopir, Ittehad Town, Chishti Nagar and Islamia Colony. These union councils were among the 11 high-risk neighbourhoods identified by the authorities as the ones that produced all the 23 polio cases in Karachi last year.

Three of the 11 union councils — encompassing Rerhi Goth of Bin Qasim Town, Firdous Colony of Liaquatabad Town and Chakra Goth of Korangi Town — were excluded from the category of high-risk localities by the Sindh health authorities and the World Health Organisation (WHO) after no poliovirus had been found in some environmental tests.

The authorities decided to concentrate on the remaining eight neighbourhoods.A meeting held at Karachi commissioner’s office with Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui in the chair decided to take the local communities in confidence to ensure that every child in the areas had been vaccinated. They also decided to put up health camps for general immunization of children.

Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2015

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