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October 27, 2020

Two polio cases surface in Jhang

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October 27, 2020

JHANG: Two new polio cases have surfaced here, it is learnt. The polio eradication and surveillance officer Monday informed the health department poliovirus had affected two children in the district. Now, the total number of polio victims in the district is six. The victims were identified as three-year-old Rida Fatima, daughter of Javed of Darul Sakina Road, and four-month-old Usman, son of Bashir of Sarwar Colony. The Punjab Health Department senior officialslater reached Jhang to ascertain the reasons for increasing poliovirus cases in the area.

The district health department had constituted 1,130 teams, comprising two-member each, to execute the polio eradication campaign in the district. Sources said about 10-30% of members of polio eradication teams hired under the volunteer policy were either unqualified or untrained, and the health department had no administrative control on them in

case of their poor performance. Each volunteer would get Rs3850 per campaign.

Interestingly, on the one side, the district health administration claimed shortage of trained health staff, but on the other, nine male and female trained health experts including doctors had been deputed at the hospital of an NGO, vide order No 1923/ HC(HRM).

Sources said some other health officials were working in the health administrative offices on temporary duty basis. When contacted CEO Health Dr Mehboob Qureshi said working had been launched on the reports of polio cases.

As far as the matter of hiring services of volunteers was concerned, the department allowed doing so to make the polio eradication drive successful. The volunteers were trained before sending them for the field duty as helpers. They were paid honoraria after every anti-polio drive, added the CEO.