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> Take Public Representatives along in Immunization Campaigns: Sindh MPAs demand from Government & UNICEF
  • Sindh saw a 100% increase in the number of polio cases in 2010 compared to 2009
  • Number of high risk districts increased from 3 to 10 in Sindh after the flood
  • Legislation needed for Compulsory Immunization of new-borns
Immunization Awareness
January 20, 2011


Karachi, January 20: Mr. Nisar Ahmed Khoro, Speaker Sindh Assembly was joined by MPAs in demanding the Ministry of Health and UNICEF to inform MPAs before the beginning of each immunization campaign so as to maximize the success of immunization campaigns in the province.


The Honourable Speaker and MPAs were part of a PILDAT Briefing Session on Immunization Campaigns: Challenges and the Way Forward that was held here today. Syed Hashim Raza Zaidi, Provincial Secretary Health, Dr. Mazhar Khamisani, Project Director Expanded Programme of Immunization, Government of Sindh and Dr. Laila Rizvi, Immunization officer, UNICEF Sindh were speakers at the occasion while Mr. Moin Aamir Pirzada, MPA, Chairman Standing Committee on Health and Convener Sindh Parliamentary Caucus on Immunization and Ms. Fozia Ejaz Khan, MNA and Vice President Parliamentary Caucus on Immunization in the National Assembly were also present on the occasion.


In a third consecutive briefing on the topic, the MPAs have continued to demand that they be informed of the campaigns in their areas before those begin in order to get fully involved in them, said Mr. Khuhro. He also stressed upon the need for an effective awareness campaign for the eradication of polio using mediums such as regional press, FM Radio, etc.


Sharing the scenario, Dr. Laila Rizvi said that Pakistan is one of only four countries in the world where polio still exists, and Pakistan is the only country where number of polio cases is rising. In 2010 140 cases of polio have been detected as compared to 86 cases last year. In FATA and Interior Sindh polio cases are increases in huge numbers which is a cause for concern.


Syed Hashim Raza Zaidi Secretary Ministry of health Sindh, said that President of Pakistan declare 2011 as polio eradication year. He assured the MPAs that they would be informed and involved in any immunization campaign in future. He agreed that the coverage of routine campaign is not very good and if routine campaign cover maximum area there would be no need of special campaign which cost heavily. He said a specific legislation is under consideration at the moment for compulsory immunization of new borns and will soon be presented in the Provincial Assembly for its consideration and passage.


Earlier Dr. Mazhar Khamisani, Project Director Expanded Programme of Immunization, Government of Sindh given detail briefing on role of Ministry of health in promoting supplementary immunization in Sindh.


Introducing the Session, Ms. Aasiya Riaz, Joint Director PILDAT, said that PILDAT has facilitated the formation of Immunization Caucuses around 7 National and Provincial Legislatures in order to facilitate public representatives awareness and involvement into immunization campaigns. She said that the caucuses around legislatures began to focus on immunization status in flood-hit areas and the briefing is a way to present an overview of the scenario in Sindh at the moment.