KARACHI: Polio workers have demanded that the government must provide written clearance letters from the police, intelligence agencies and bomb disposal squads to assure the teams that a particular area is safe for a vaccination campaign.
All Pakistan Lady Health Workers Employees Association chairperson Khairun Nisa Memon was presenting her eight-point agenda during a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on Thursday. She also asked the government to increase the daily allowance of workers from Rs250 to Rs1,000.
“The funds given by international donors should be audited,” stressed Memon, adding that the polio campaign would be successful only if the funds are spent in a transparent manner.
“My team has always been provided foolproof security in Manghopir. The same security should be ensured across the city,” said the association’s vice-president Farzana Baloch.
Memon suggested that peace committees, mosque committees, Zakat committees and lawmakers of different areas should be involved while making security arrangements. She demanded the installation of CCTV cameras and security personnel with staff during pick and drop services. Memon also demanded that the team workers injured across the country should be financially compensated.
“We haven’t been taken into confidence for the continuation of polio campaign in Sindh. The campaign wouldn’t be successful without our participation,” added Memon. She said that the Sindh health secretary had contacted her. “But, we haven’t assured them of our participation as yet.” She said that her team was looking into the security measures taken by the government.
Memon said that polio workers in Punjab had ensured support to the teams in Sindh. “We are all united and the government must pay heed to our issues seriously if they want to eradicate the crippling disease from Pakistan.” Pakistan Medical Association’s general secretary Dr Mirza Ali Azhar urged the government to take the issue seriously.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 24th, 2014.
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