Immunisation drive: Security stepped up for polio teams

Published: December 21, 2012
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A policeman stands guard as a health worker administers polio drops to children in Afghan Colony near Saggian Bridge. All lady health workers who administered the vaccine in the colony were accompanied by a guard. Some refused to wear their signature green jacket and caps after attacks on anti-polio campaigners. PHOTO: SHAFIQ MALIK/EXPRESS

A policeman stands guard as a health worker administers polio drops to children in Afghan Colony near Saggian Bridge. All lady health workers who administered the vaccine in the colony were accompanied by a guard. Some refused to wear their signature green jacket and caps after attacks on anti-polio campaigners. PHOTO: SHAFIQ MALIK/EXPRESS

LAHORE: 

Security has been stepped up for volunteers and officials conducting a polio vaccination campaign here following attacks on health workers in Karachi and Charsadda.

DCO Noorul Amin Mengal and Khwaja Salman Rafiq, the special advisor to the chief minister on health, paid surprise visits to Samanabad Town, Iqbal Town, Ravi Town and Muslim Town, where polio teams were at work on Thursday, to assess their performance as well as security measures, said a press release.

Police officials have been assigned to each polio team, said Mengal. He directed police officials to make sure to respond immediately to any call from the polio team. Anyone refusing to allow children under five years of age to be immunised must be arrested, he added.

Rafiq said that Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had directed officials to ensure security.

Officials at the DCO’s office said there had been no reported harassment of polio workers on Thursday. They added that “catch-up days”, to cover areas missed in the three-day drive ending on Thursday, would be observed on Friday and Saturday.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 21st, 2012. 

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