CS calls for effective strategies to eradicate polio

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PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Secretary Kazim Niaz has warned the district administrators of zero tolerance for any laxity in achieving the goal of polio eradication initiative (PEI).

He said this while chairing a Provincial Task Force Meeting here Monday, said an official handout.The commissioners and deputy commissioners of all divisions joined the meeting virtually.

Inspector-General of Police Sanaullah Abbasi, Chairperson, Standing Committee on Health Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, Rabia Basri, Secretary Health Imtiaz Hussain Shah, Additional Secretary Home, Secretary Population Welfare, Additional Secretary Elementary Education, Additional Secretary Local Government, DG Health, Additional Secretary Health (Polio), Abdul Basit, Director, EPI,UNICEF National Team Lead Hamesh Young, WHO National Team Lead, Zainul Abideen, Country Representative of Rotary International Aziz Memon were present in the meeting.

Kazim Niaz said that a lot of efforts, coordination and resources went into every round of anti-polio campaign and it was important to ensure optimal use and benefits of all these efforts by ensuring a strict monitoring and accountability system in place at all levels.

He commended the good work done by commissioners and deputy commissioners for polio eradication in their respective regions despite challenges and called for adopting issue-based strategies to plug the remaining gaps in wiping out the scourge from the region.

The senior bureaucrat underscored the need for redoubling the efforts for reaching the finishing line. He hoped the dream of a polio-free Pakistan would soon be translated into a reality with the teamwork and the exiting support from all line departments and government functionaries.

The chief secretary also thanked the partners including UNICEF, WHO, Rotary International for supporting the government in the noble cause for preventing the children from lifelong disability.He said good achievement had been made in terms of declining polio cases in the province.

The senior official directed the district administrators to build on the existing baseline set so as to stop polio outbreaks and virus transmission in the province in future.Earlier, Additional Secretary Health (polio) and Coordinator EOC, Abdul Basit, briefed him in detail about the comparative analysis of the previous three national immunization drives in the province.

He said that over 70 per cent decline had been observed in the province in reporting of polio cases with 22 cases this year against 73 cases reported last year at this point in time.The environmental samples collected from all the 13 sites in the province are negative except for Shaheen Muslim Town in Peshawar, he said, adding that concerted efforts were needed to stop virus circulation in the provincial capital.Abdul Basit informed the forum that the November round of anti-polio drive would be carried in all districts of the province wherein 6.401 million kids would be vaccinated.

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