The Punjab Government has planned to implement a comprehensive strategy to eradicate polio from the province by implementing well-designed emergency action plan in collaboration with all the line-departments and donor agencies associated with the child-health.
In this regard, a high level meeting was held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Punjab Nasir Khosa at Civil Secretariat on Tuesday. Administrative Secretaries and representatives of line-departments attended the meeting. The meeting was told that national emergency action plan had been chalked-out to interrupt transmission of polio virus by the end of 2011. The meeting observed that vaccination during high quality ammonisation campaign was a strong barrier to protect the children from this deadly virus. “It is important that we may not become complacent in the absence of polio cases in Punjab so far this year, but instead, must remain very vigilant and focused in our efforts to eradicate the virus from Punjab,” the CS said.
The meeting proposed that DCOs should hold meetings of district polio eradication committees two weeks before every anti-polio campaign with the purpose of planning for excellent implementation and high vaccination coverage. It is also essential that every plan should be endorsed by the designated medical officer and designated official from the DCO/TMA offices for the union council level and the same should also be reviewed by EDOs health and technical staff from the partner organisations.
The CS directed that vaccination staff should also reach to mobile populations by accurately mapping the location of all such settlements besides devising specific stand- alone plans for high quality vaccination coverage in high risk areas and populations, for example, children of brick kiln workers, construction site working families and nomadic camps. Similarly, it was also pointed-out that cable networks as well as the platform of Mosques is very effective to sensitise the parents to immunize their children.
Khosa directed that the provincial departments including Education, Revenue, Auqaf, Social Welfare, Police as well as Health related NGOs should be fully involved in this campaign so that no child, up to the age of five years, may not be left without vaccination.
“Eradication of polio virus from Punjab will be a great achievement. Let us all work together to protect the children of Punjab against this deadly disease. In order to achieve this goal, every child under five years of age must receive polio vaccine during the forthcoming polio campaigns,” added the Chief Secretary.