WHO finds sub-optimal polio drive coverage in six towns
KARACHI, Nov 3: Based on its various post-campaign reports pertaining to the national immunisation days observed in October, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has urged the relevant authorities to improve quality of its drive against polio in the city, it emerged on Friday.
According to finger-marking coverage data for Karachi conducted by the WHO, polio-drop administration to children under five years remained suboptimal at least in six towns — Gadap (69 per cent coverage), Saddar (84pc), Liaquatabad (87pc), SITE (87pc), North Nazimabad (93pc) and Gulberg (94pc).
The coverage survey using different methods is normally conducted soon after the campaign to ensure substantial follow-up vaccinations in the next drive.
Normally a coverage rate above 95pc is considered commendable and a safe level as far as control of polio is considered, say experts.
The finger-marking coverage rate in Keamari, Korangi, Landhi and North Karachi towns came to 100pc. In other towns the coverage rate ranged from 97pc to 99pc.
A source privy to the oral polio drop administration to children says the goal of the post-campaign monitoring is to assess the
quality of the campaign using different modalities.
The key objective is to assess the vaccination status of children in households and at market places, which help the health authorities to pinpoint the missed children and ensure that they are covered and not missed again during the next campaigns, the source says.
About the parameters and WHO standards of survey, it was learnt there were three methods — independent monitoring,
lot-quality assurance sampling (LQAS) and market survey (MS) — wherein the finger-marking was taken as the only proof for vaccination status of the children.
WHO reports revealed that the performance of various towns assessed under the LQAS and MS was also not up to mark.
WHO has rejected the coverage rates of a number of union council in Karachi under LQAS as coverage ranged between 80-90 per cent or between 90-95pc. The under-performing union councils included Muslim Mujahid Colony in Baldia, Yousuf Goth in Gadap, Karimabad in Gulberg, Manzoor Colony in Jamshed town, union council-3 in Keamari, Abbasi Shaheed in Liaquatabad, Sakhi Hasan in North Nazimabad, CCB-1 in Saddar and Frontier Colony in SITE.
As per reports of the market survey, the third and the last method comprising visits to busy places like large bus stands, markets, OPDs of the large hospital and any other such busy areas, Keamri town gave the minimum coverage result at 91pc. In Jamshed town and SITE towns 94pc of the survey children were covered while 92pc in Liaquatabad while coverage in the remaining towns ranged between 95 to 100pc.
The results of the survey had been passed on to authorities concerned in the province for necessary action, said a source.
Commenting on the situation, the WHO chief of polio eradication in Pakistan, Dr Elias Durrey, said that though Karachi had remained polio-free for the last one year, the latest survey results were not in line to guarantee that this city would remain polio-free in the days to come.