First vaccination drive of 2018 starts

PESHAWAR: In the first campaign of the new year 2018 the K-P government  launches an aggressive poliovirus drive with the aim of administering the polio vaccine to over 5.71 million children in the province from Janaury 15.

According to available figures there has a 60 per cent decrease in poliovirus cases in the country with 20 new cases reported in 2016 as compared to eight only in 2017.

(K-P) Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has urged parents and all sections of society to ensure every single child got vaccinated against the virus.

Garbage in Karachi keeping polio virus alive

“Even a single child left unvaccinated endangered all other children,” said Atif Rehman, K-P Coordinator for EOC while chairing a meeting at EOC for the next anti-polio drive in K-P. which begins on Monday.

Rehman stated the country was never closer to eradicating the virus as it currently was and it was the right time to tap all available resources to get rid of this malaise once and for all.

He paid rich tributes to community health workers for their untiring efforts.

Sehat Muhafiz faced numerous challenges for protecting future generations, he informed. During meeting, micro plans were updated and all the high risk and mobile population were mapped out so that no child was missed during the campaign.

The meeting was briefed on the preparation for the next anti-polio campaign where some 5.71million children will be vaccinated against the virus across K-P.

‘Pakistan will soon be able to eradicate polio’

A total of 18,656 teams have been constituted to meet the target out of which 15,940 were mobile, 1,544 fixed, 926 transit and some 246 roaming teams will be vaccinating kids. The meeting was told that stringent security measures have been adopted and over 30,000 police personnel deployed for security.

UNICEF Team Leader Dr Johar, Technical Focal Person BMGF Dr Imtiaz Ali Shah, Team Leader WHO Dr Abdi Nasir, Provincial N Stop Dr Ijaz and other technical staff were also present on the occasion.

Polio review

A meeting held the other day in Islamabad stressed upon the need to monitor movement of Afghan nationals in the border areas of K-P.

The meeting also to stock of the polio cases reported in K-P and Fata last year.

Representative of Pakistan Army, while briefing a meeting held to review the polio situation said soldiers escort inoculators as and when the situation requires.

He briefed in detail on the support being provided by the armed forces in ensuring accessibility and security of polio teams.

Federal Minister for National Health Services Saira Afzal Tarar, chairing the meeting stressed upon the importance of sustainability of resources to ensure that the anti-polio programme continues to operate after stopping transmission of poliovirus as per standard internationally practice. To this end, she directed for early finalisation of PC-1 for 2019-2021.

Pakistan’s progress over polio eradication reviewed

Health Ministry Director General Dr Assad Hafeez, National Coordinator for Polio Dr Rana Safdar, representative of Pakistan Army and international partner agencies attended the huddle.

The minister while expressing satisfaction over the significant progress made by the country in arresting the spread of polio, directed to redouble efforts to meet the remaining challenges and rid the country of the disease.

She said the country had reported the lowest ever cases in the history of the polio effort.

The minister was given a detailed briefing by National Coordinator Polio Eradication Dr Rana Muhammad Safdar.

Details of the eight cases reported last year was shared with the minister. The minister noted with satisfaction the improved polio situation in parts of the country including Fata.

She directed to engage the leadership of Balochistan to meet specific challenges to the campaign. She directed further strengthening of cross border collaboration with Afghanistan.

The minister stressed upon the critical importance of sustainability of resources to ensure that the programme continues to operate after stopping transmission of poliovirus as per standard internationally practice. To this end, she directed for early finalisation of PC-1 for 2019-2021.

Eight cases were reported in the country with three in Balochistan, two from Sindh and one each from K-P, Punjab and Gilgit Baltistan were reported in 2017. 

Published in The Express Tribune, January 13th, 2018.

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