Anti-polio rhetoric WHO survey lifts the lid on drive
LAHORE, Nov 2: The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the last anti-polio campaign quality “critically low and sub-optimal” in six districts of the country including Karachi.
The situation in Karachi was reported much pathetic compared to other places.
In a separate survey technique, the WHO has also marked 29 union councils all over the country, where the polio campaign status remained below 95 per cent target set by the WHO. Of these 29 UCs, the coverage status remained ‘sub-optimal’ in 16 and ‘critically low’ in 13.
According to the WHO report, the situation was not up to the mark particularly in Sindh and Balochistan provinces where most UCs had been marked under the category of ‘critically low’ for polio coverage to the target children.
A three-day National Immunization Days (NIDs) campaign was launched on Oct 17 and the catch-up round was done on 19th and 20th. The WHO all over the world used three globally acknowledged quality monitoring mechanisms including the Post Campaign Monitoring (PCM) which was conducted within five days of the end of the campaign.
The PCM has three components/modalities to make sure the quality check on campaign including Independent Monitoring, Lot Quality Assurance Sampling and Market Survey. All components take finger marking as the only proof for vaccination status of the children.
According the report, the polio coverage to the children remained lower than the given target of 95 per cent in two each districts of Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan and one each in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh.
The under-question districts for low polio coverage of AJK are Muzaffarabad and Poonchh, Diamer and Gilgit of Gilgit Baltistan, Shangla of KPK and Karachi of Sindh.
These districts were identified by the WHO experts for low coverage in the Independent Monitoring method. The low polio coverage at the UC level was exposed using the Lot Quality Assurance Sampling which is said to be most authentic and integral technique to assess the vaccination status.
In the second format of survey, the WHO marked 13 UCs under critically low category, where the polio coverage remained below 90 per cent and 16 UCs as sub-optimal with coverage percentage below 95.
In Sindh, the critically low polio coverage was reported in seven UCs and sub-optimal in six UCs while in Punjab, three UCs including two of Lahore were declared sub-optimal for polio coverage. Samanabad and Ravi towns in Lahore and Rojhan Sharqi in Rajanpur district were declared most vulnerable to the polio spread.
The polio coverage in only one union council of KPK was reported critically low.
The WHO report also marked three tehsils of FATA, where the polio coverage remained below 95 per cent.
As far as Karachi is concerned, the WHO revealed pathetic situation in its six major towns that were declared most vulnerable to polio virus spread.
The lowest polio coverage — 69 per cent — was reported in Gadap Town of Karachi.