District admin ordered by KP govt to ensure safety of vaccinators

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PESHAWAR: The provincial government has instructed district administration to take effective measures for safety of health workers to ensure quality polio vaccination campaign starting from November 18 in four districts of the province.

Chief Secretary Dr Kazim Niaz expressed the confidence in a meeting that divisional and district administration would lead the health staff towards carrying out a comprehensive effort to eliminate poliovirus from the province.

The meeting held here on Monday with the chief secretary in the chair was attended by chairperson of Standing Committee on Health of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Dr Sumaira Shams, administrative secretaries, commissioners, national and provincial coordinator of Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), director of expanded programme on immunisation and representatives of Unicef, WHO and other partners in polio eradication initiative, said a statement.

Anti-polio drive to be launched on Nov 18 in four districts

Dr Kazim said that district polio control rooms should lend the required stewardship to the field staff during the case response drive in Kohistan Upper, Kohistan Lower, Kolai Palas Kohistan and Torghar districts.

“The vaccination will boost up children’s immunity to stay safe from being infected with poliovirus, which is in circulation in the region. The highest quality campaign is key to success. No laxity will be tolerated in the scheduled drive to achieve the objectives,” he said.

The chief secretary directed the health department to include pay raise for the frontline workers in the PC-1 before December so that they could work with more dedication in conducive environment for better results.

He stressed the need for robust essential immunisation plan in the province with specific focus on low-performing districts and establishing EPI centres in the province. He said that enriching polio programme with other health and nutrition services in super high risk union councils would be expedited.

The chief secretary said that security of vaccinators and field staff must be priority of the home and tribal affairs department to protect the people involved in the activities and inoculate children, who were exposed to contracting virus existed in the areas.

“I will personally supervise polio campaigns for effective and result-oriented drives,” he said.

EOC coordinator Abdul Basit briefed the meeting regarding current polio scenario in the province. He talked about the challenges and strategies to cope with the situation.

“Sensitisation of the community on the importance of polio and other vaccine preventable diseases is need of the hour,” he said.

He said that effectiveness of campaign in the low transmission season would help to stop circulation in environment as a way to bring down polio cases.

Published in Dawn, November 5th, 2019

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