One hundred percent commitment towards polio eradication: One of my top priorities to eradicate Polio-Commissioner Karachi Syed AsifHyder Shah.

11 January, 2016- Karachi: Newly appointed Commissioner Karachi Syed Asif HyderShah as his first act on his first day in office has shown total commitment towards polio eradication and has visited the Emergency Operation Centre for Polio in Sindh where he met with Dr.AzraFazalPechuho-Member National Assembly and Chairperson EOC Sindh, Dr. Muhammad Usman Chachar-Coordinator EOC Sindh, Shahnaz Wazir Ali-Technical Coordinator, Dr. Ahmad Ali Shaikh-Technical Focal Person EOC Sindh and representatives of UNICEF and WHO.

Commissioner Karachi on this occasion said that he will assume the Chairmanship of the Karachi Task force for polio and will put in all effort to eradicate the virus in Karachi as this is not only his duty as an official but also a moral obligation to safeguard the future of the children of Pakistan.

AsifHyder Shah is known for a hands on approach and was instrumental in the polio programme in Hyderabad where he himself presided over evening meetings and could be seen personally identifying and resolving issues in the field. He had earlier played a very positive role as DCO Sanghar and Commissioner Larkana.

Dr. Usman Chacharbriefed the commissioner on the current situation in Karachi were there has been a 70 percent reduction in polio cases, from 23 in 2014 to 7 in 2015. Dr.Chachar further informed that all of the cases in 2015 were reported after October and before that Karachi did not see a single polio case in almost 1 year. He said that we are hoping our hard work will pay off and we can move towards zero cases.He also informed that the security situation as well as the provision of security has improved in Karachi while there has been a large decrease in missed children and monitoring shows that vaccination drives are improving. Dr Usman told Commissioner Karachi that it is a great gesture for you to come and visit the Emergency Operation Centre for polio and this shows a high level of commitment.

Commissioner Karachi was of the opinion that it goes without saying that this has been my topmost priority, not just from now but instead since I have held office. We will definitely take it on and make improvements, I am already thinking of making innovations to address shortcomings and further improve the processes. I understand interior Sindh is different and Karachi has a different set of challenges, but with hard work we will address them.

The stakeholders decided to immediately monitor progress on the Karachi Action Plan and ensure adequate preparation including administrative and security arrangements while Madam AzraFazalPechuho emphasised the importance of strong accountability for success.

It was also informed that commissioner house now has an active helpline (1299) and anyone can call and lodge a complaint if vaccinators and teams are not reaching their house. They can also call for polio related information.

The next campaign in Sindh including Karachi will be held from 11th January to 16th January in all 188 union councils of KHI and 934 union councils in interior Sindh with a total target population of 8.2 million children under 5 years of age (approx. 2.1 million in Karachi).