The Health Department will hold a review meeting with executive district officers (EDOs) from across the province on May 8.
Senior officials of the department will also attend the meeting. There are two main issues on the agenda, recruitment to vacant posts in the department and discussion on the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI).
An official of the department told The Express Tribune that the EPI’s steering committee had directed the EDOs to maintain vaccination data. He said that the chief minister had already approved the recruitment of 300 vaccinators. Data on vacant posts at the district level will now be compiled, and strategy developed to fill vacant slots at the DHQ and THQ levels. “There are several union councils in the province where there is no vaccinator, and dozens of DHQs don’t have consultants. These issues will be discussed at length at the meeting,” he said.
“At a recent meeting on polio eradication in Geneva, restriction on travel to Pakistan were considered,” the official said.
Adviser to the Chief Minister on Health Khawaja Salman Rafique said polio eradication was a very important issue, and should be owned by the political leadership. He said that although no polio case had been reported and confirmed in the Punjab, the Health Department will run anti-polio campaigns in union councils where the polio virus was found.
“A senior official of Global Fund was in Lahore six days ago. We held meetings with him and briefed him on our steps to eradicate polio. We are working according to the WHO guidelines,” he said. Meetings will be held with EDOs and DCOs in the presence of the chief secretary every six months to review the progress of anti-polio vaccination campaigns in various areas of the province. “We are also focusing on strengthening our routine immunisation,” Rafique added.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 5th, 2014.