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October 14, 2018

Elders to support anti-measles drive in tribal districts

National

October 14, 2018

PESHAWAR: The elders on Saturday assured full support to make the upcoming anti-measles vaccination campaign in tribal districts a success.

They assured the support during a daylong session organised to take onboard and share information about the preparations for the upcoming measles vaccination campaign starting from tomorrow (Monday). The Unicef has organised the event.

Director General (DG) Health Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Dr Ayub Rose, Director Health tribal districts Dr Jawad Habib and other officials of health department attended the event. Around 24 tribal elders from all the tribal districts were present.

Deputy Director and Programme Manager Measles tribal districts Dr Iftikhar Ali, said fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and erythematous rash were among the symptoms of the virus which can cause death of a child. He said it was an infectious disease and is spread by coughing and sneezing or direct contact with the infected child.

He said that 0.9 million children would be vaccinated during the 12-day campaign in tribal districts. The official added that 553 teams, comprising 1,253 trained vaccinators would administer the vaccines to children from 9 months to five year-of-age during the drive.

Dr Jamil of Unicef said the government and supporting partners were committed to reach out to every child and the role of tribal elders in this regard was imperative.

Only 35 percent children were vaccinated in routine immunisation campaigns in tribal districts and that was why the Unicef and government organised 12-day campaign after each five years to reach out to every child, he added.

Dr Ayub Rose and Dr Jamal Habib urged the tribal elders to use their influence to motivate the people to cooperate with the health teams during the campaign and vaccinate their children against the virus.

They said the Health Department was committed to providing all facilities in tribal districts to ensure quality healthcare services there and complained about lack of

required resources to overcome health issues in the province.

Tribal elders complained about spurious medicines in hospitals and not carrying out fumigations which resulted in outbreak of various diseases in the area.

They hoped the government would increase health budget and arrange related facilities to improve healthcare services in tribal districts.

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