45,000 polio refusal cases reported

KARACHI: Authorities have been facing multiple challenges in vaccinating all children because about 45,000 children remained unvaccinated in the various campaigns launched in Karachi in 2017 wherein 129,000 others were also deprived from vaccination due to change of the residential addresses of their presents.

Sources at Sindh health department told PPI that the parents, who refused vaccination, not only put their own children at risk but also posed threat to the immunized ones.

The donor organizations and health experts are concerned about refusal cases and want these cases to be covered to cope with the disease.

The experts believed that eradication of polio virus from Pakistan was not possible without eliminating the crippling diseases from Karachi but unfortunately a big number of children remain unvaccinated every year in the city due to poor coverage system, security issues and noncooperation of parents.

However, eminent pediatrician & President Pakistan Pediatric Association Sindh, Prof Syed Jamal Raza while talking to PPI said that vaccines play a major role in eliminating and preventing diseases. He said without vaccines, epidemics of many preventable diseases could return, resulting in increased and unnecessary illness and disability.

He said as refusals and unvaccinated children pose serious threats to already vaccinated or healthy children; therefore, preventive measures are badly needed to save infants.

He said vaccines are available free of cost at EPI centers so parents can get their children vaccinated from there to take protection from unnecessary suffering.

First polio campaign of 2018 begins from Jan 22 in Karachi and will continue till January 26, 2018. It will target approximately 2.3 million children.

About 12,000 teams will take part in the five-day campaign and approximately 5,000 police personnel will be providing them security cover.

In 2017, a total eight polio cases were reported in Pakistan out of them two cases were from Karachi in Sindh.