SUKKUR: The anti-measles campaign remained suspended in Sukkur for most of Sunday, as nearly 120 vaccinators chose the occasion to press the health department to pay them fuel and daily allowances. The Salehput taluka, which has witnessed the majority of deaths that have been attributed to the outbreak in the province, was also hit by the halt in vaccination activities.
The immunisation activities, however, resumed in the district by Sunday evening after the vaccinators successfully pressed health department officials to give them daily allowances.
Dozens of members of the immunisation drive had earlier gathered at Dolphin Chowk in the morning and chanted slogans against health authorities.
The general secretary of the vaccinators’ association, Shahzado Panhwar, told The Express Tribune that the government had not paid the people who had been vaccinating children against measles in the district since December 20. We also did not get any daily or fuel allowance for taking part in the last two anti-polio campaigns in the district, said Panhwar.
Vaccinators taking part in polio eradication or anti-measles drives are paid around Rs500 every day.
Later on, representatives of the protesters met Sukkur district health officer Jay Ram Das and provincial director general for health, Dr Feroz Memon, to discuss their grievances. Memon assured the protesters that their demands will be met. Panhwar later said that they had resumed the anti-measles campaign after the health officials had assured them that they will be paid their daily allowances.
Edhi chips in
Philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi provided seven vehicles to the health department for shifting ailing children to hospitals. According to an Edhi Foundation official, four vehicles have been provided for Salehpat taluka, two for Ghotki district, and one for Khairpur district.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 7th, 2013.