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Monday June 24, 2024

2 doctors working for Unicef declared ‘persona non grata’

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Department had formed the committee to probe irregularities

By Arshad Aziz Malik
May 23, 2024
A representational image of a doctor holding a stethoscope. — Unsplash/File
A representational image of a doctor holding a stethoscope. — Unsplash/File

PESHAWAR: An inquiry committee of the Health Department has declared two doctors working for the Unicef polio program as persona non grata and recommended an inquiry against them.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Department had formed the committee to probe irregularities in appointing the two doctors to the Unicef polio programme in the province.

The committee comprising the deputy secretary (administration) and section officer (litigation) has submitted its report. A copy of the inquiry report said Dr Tufail Ahmad was found guilty of dual job as a health specialist for the Unicef and TMO at the Community Medicine Department, KMC Peshawar. On the other hand, Dr Junaid Khan was found not carrying out his duties as far as polio eradication activities are concerned. He was also found involved in occupying and retaining an illegal accommodation at the Molvi Ameer Shah Memorial Hospital, Peshawar.

The inquiry committee said the allegation against Dr Junaid of his undue interference in the recruitment process was found true. Both the officers failed to defend themselves as they neither appeared before the inquiry committee nor submitted any reply to the committee notices.

It had been alleged that Dr Junaid was unlawfully appointed as SBC specialist in disregard of merit and prescribed qualification. The doctor earned his master’s degree in Public Health from 2011 to 2013 from a private university while simultaneously he was also an employee of Save the Children project as a manager. The pursuit of a master’s degree in Public Health is a regular admission to the said university. So how was it possible to continue his regular education and employment in the Save the Children project during this period while serving in Battagram, he was asked. The committee recommended that Dr Tufail and Dr Junaid be declared persona non grata to the extent of the polio program in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The committee said the present employer of both the individuals should launch an inquiry against them in line with its HR regulations and apprise the KP government of action. Dr Junaid was also accused of hiring his family and friends and interfering in the third-party staff of the Unicef.

Despite repeated attempts, the two doctors could not be contacted for their points of view on the issue.

Abdul Basit, Special Secretary Health & Coordinator of Emergency Operation Centre for Polio Eradication, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, told this correspondent that the allegations against both officers were examined by the health department.

He said the PGMI confirmed Dr Tufail’s employment at Khyber Teaching Hospital, for which he has received salary.Dr Junaid was accused of hiring his family and friends and interfering with the third-party staff of UNICEF. Both officers failed to provide any written response to the enquiry committee of the health department and did not appear before the committee.