Saturday September 18, 2021

Polio drive: CS stresses strategy to track missed children

PESHAWAR: Chief Secretary Kazim Niaz has called for a specific strategy to track missed children in high-risk districts to help ensure polio vaccination to all target children under the age of five.

He said this while addressing the Provincial Task Force meeting on Polio Eradication here Tuesday.

Finance Minister of Taimur Salim Jhagra, Chairperson, Provincial Assembly Standing Committee on Health, Rabia Basri, TAG Chairman, Jean Mark, IGP Moazzam Jah Ansari, Secretary Home Ikramullah, Finance Secretary Atif Rehman, Health Secretary, Syed Imtiaz Hussain Shah, Secretary Elementary Education, Yahya Akhunzada, Additional Secretary Information and PRs, CCPO, Abbas Ahsan, Add Secretary Health (polio) Abdul Basit, Director.

EPI, Dr Arif, UNICEF country chief of Polio, Hamesh Young, DG Health Dr Niaz, commissioners and deputy commissioners of all divisions were present on the occasion. Speaking on the occasion, Kazim Niaz, who is the lead of the Provincial Task Force, announced the early start of the August campaign in view of the upcoming Muharram and the related security issues.

The chief secretary said after a long time, real and tangible progress had been made in the war against polio as most of the environmental samples were negative which indicated that the virus transmission had stopped in the high risk districts of the province.

He said the campaign would now start from July 30 instead of August 2, to ensure complete security to the frontline workers and avoid any untoward situation.

Kazim Niaz lauded the efforts put in by the provincial Emergency Operation Centre by engaging all segments of the society, especially the parliamentarians hoping that the lawmakers would inaugurate the August and upcoming campaigns in respective constituencies. He directed commissioners and deputy commissioners to lead the polio vaccination campaign and take full responsibility and ownership of anti-polio efforts in their respective districts.

Minister for Finance Taimur Salim Jhagra said that it was due to the tireless efforts of the frontline workers, guidance and ownership of the government that no wild poliovirus case had been reported from the province for more than a year now.

However, he added negligence and complacency would not be tolerated as it may lead us back to the outbreak situation. He directed all the stakeholders to work with the same dedication to help the country steer out of the menace for good. Earlier, Coordinator, EOC, KP, Abdul Basit presented June SNID 2021 review, challenges, epidemiology, readiness status of upcoming anti-polio campaign in the province.