PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Pervez Khattak ordered health departments and district administrations to use coordinated efforts to ensure success of polio eradication campaigns (PEC) in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.
As mentioned in an official handout, Khattak presided over a meeting of the Provincial Task Force for Polio Eradication at the CM’s Secretariat on Wednesday.
The meeting was also attended by the Minister for Health Shahram Khan Tarkai, Chief Secretary Amjad Ali Khan, IGP Nasir Khan Durrani, secretaries of health and local government, all divisional commissioners, representatives of the World Health Organization, officials of the Polio Eradication Initiative and other members of the taskforce.
The CM approved an additional amount of Rs70.5 million for PECs for the fiscal year 2015-16.
Local elected representatives were encouraged to get involved with monitoring the progress of PEC within their jurisdictions to ensure maximum coordination between the departments. CM also ordered municipal authorities to examine the safety of drinking water and evaluate the hygiene conditions in areas where polio cases have been reported in the past.
Khattak asked about polio refusal cases, accessibility arrangements in remote areas, security problems and missing children. According to the CM, health care officials should be able to reach “every nook and corner of the province” since there are no inaccessible areas this season in K-P.
He also ordered district administration officials to maintain computerised records of vaccinated children in the province. The handout also mentioned the polio eradication programme had witnessed an 85% reduction in the number of polio cases compared to 2014. In 2015, 10 cases were reported in Peshawar.
Emergency Operation Centre Coordinator Muhammad Akbar Khan reported PECs had improved significantly during September and October in Charsadda, Mardan, Swat and Torghar. However, the campaign did not go as well in Lakki Marwat, Bannu, Hangu and Karak districts through the month of October.
The handout also reported security for polio workers had improved post military operation Zarb-e-Azb, although provincial security also played an important role to ensure safety of health care workers.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 5th, 2015.