Polio drive: CDA misses target
ISLAMABAD, Nov 3: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) missed its target of covering 100 per cent children during the recently held polio campaign.
Dawn has learnt that during the campaign from October 15–17, as many as 2,344 children were missed out.
Besides, according to a report of the Expanded Programme for Immunisation (EPI) shared with this reporter by an EPI official, parents of 211 children also refused to take the polio drops in the capital city.
“Most of these children missed the polio drops in the 15 zones of the capital’s urban areas managed by the CDA,” said the official on the condition of anonymity.
He added that over 127,000 children lived in the 15 zones and 105,000 in the 12 union councils of the rural areas administered by the Islamabad capital territory administration.
According to technical surveys conducted by the World Health Orgnaistaion (WHO) about the campaign reach of the polio vaccinators, the civic authority’s covered percentage stood at 95 according to the post-campaign monitoring (PCM) finger-marking component, explained the official.
In the finger-marking component, the WHO conducted random visits to the areas where the vaccinators had given polio drops to children to check whether a certain number of children had their fingers marked.
The CDA also failed to pass one of the three main technical methodologies of the PCM to evaluate the outreach of vaccinators in rural and urban areas. The three technical methodologies are: finger-marking coverage (FMC), lot quality assurance sampling (LQAS) and market survey, he added.
The market survey, however, is conducted by the WHO when its officials randomly visit bus stands, markets, outpatient departments of hospitals and any other busy area.
The authority had a suboptimal coverage of almost 88 per cent as per the market survey component of the PCM. The civic agency touched 95 per cent as per LQAS.
The EPI official added that market survey sample of 173 children was taken from CDA (urban areas) out of which 152 were found vaccinated, which showed the ratio of 88 per cent.
He said in the ICT area the market survey sample of 221 children was collected out of which 217 were found vaccinated, which stood at 98 per cent.
The official explained that LQAS was also conducted on a random basis and it worked like a lottery in which a computerised method simulating paper tickets was used to choose an area to be surveyed. “CDA could not perform well in this campaign
which shows that its health system was not properly working to achieve the desired results,” observed the official.
It is pertinent to mention that there is a polio committee headed by the CDA chairman Syed Tahir Shahbaz while the ICT administration is also part of the campaign process.
However, CDA spokesman Ramzan Sajid quoted Dr Hasan Urooj as saying: “We have achieved better coverage of 95 per cent
this year as per the PCM finger marking.”
But one polio official within the CDA added that during the latest national immunisation campaign, the polio coverage stood at
96 per cent as per the PCM finger marking.
The spokesman claimed that vaccinators had houses of children for more than four times but still a few of them might have been missed out due to their absence at homes.