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February 11, 2019

Focus on mega cities for polio eradication


February 11, 2019

LAHORE: Health Services Director General Dr Munir Ahmed has said that, on the direction of health minister, the department has decided to start this year’s 2nd anti-polio campaign this month.

In a statement, he said that, although Punjab has not a single case of polio so far, yet he confirmed the positive results of environmental samples taken from sewerage water of an area of Faisalabad. He stated that health department every month collects environmental samples as a routine practice. He clarified that as per the WHO survey conducted after confirmation of polio virus in Faisalabad, the data in the last three rounds of supplementary immunisation campaigns from drainage areas indicated coverage of 99 percent children.

The remaining missed children; however, pose a risk for themselves, as well as other children around them. Dr Munir Ahmed said that the government was focusing on the mega cities like Lahore, Rawalpindi, DG Khan and Faisalabad where the virus is tested positive in the sewerage water.

He said that the virus appears to have travelled to these districts along with population from the neighboring provinces who very frequently travel to Punjab and shed the virus here. Parents residing in those areas; therefore, need to get their children vaccinated”, the DG health stressed.

It is worth mentioning that Punjab has reported zero polio case in 2018 from a total of 12 cases in Pakistan. Whereas in 2019, Punjab still remained polio-free. Healthy lifestyle: Punjab University Department of Public Health, Institute of Social and Cultural Studies is organising the first national conference on public health on March 8.

The theme of the conference is “Our Health Our Future: Addressing Challenges and Seeking Solutions.” The researchers from various academic and research institutes of the country will participate in it.

In a press statement, the conference Chair, Prof Dr Rubeena Zakar, said that it was the time for policymakers and every common man to focus on adopting healthy lifestyle instead of spending time and money only on curing diseases. She said that it would help avoid diseases and reduce problems of the people suffering from various health issues.

She said that Pakistan was experiencing high burden of both communicable and non-communicable diseases so adopting preventive measures was key to achieve Sustainable Development Goals with respect to health sector. She said that the conference would be a good opportunity for developing an appropriate strategy to achieve the required targets and launch awareness campaigns at the mass level.

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