LAKKI MARWAT - The district polio eradication committee has showed concern over the absence of union council health officials and union council polio workers, union council officers and temporary tehsil monitors of partner organisations in the meetings of union council polio eradication committees.

"The absence of officials from the meetings clearly shows their lack of interest in efforts aiming to wipe out the deadly disease, which cause lifelong paralyse to the children below the five years age," said a health official during the meeting on Friday.

Local Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Bakhtiar Khan presided over the meeting where assistant commissioner Sher Alam Khan, additional AC Pir Muhammad Mehsud, DSP Khankhel, DHO Dr Ghaffar, EPI Coordinator Dr Hafez, National Coordinator LHWs Dr Tarik Saleem, KPPHI district support officer Anwar Kamal, district khateeb Maulana Abdul Wahab, ESED ADO Abdul Rehman and other officials were in the attendance.

The health official requested the deputy commissioner to intervene into the matter and convene a special meeting at his office to sensitise the absent officials about the importance of polio eradication campaigns.

Bakhtiar directed the district health officer and district health communication support officer to initiate action against the officials of their respective departments and deduct their salaries for not attending meetings of union council polio eradication committees.

Health official also told the meeting that many health facilities lacked medical officers to head the union council polio eradication committees. "Several rural health facilities with doctors posted in them also presents deserted look due to engagement of doctors, paramedics and other staffers in anti polio campaigns," he revealed.

He also requested the deputy commissioner to direct assistant director local government and rural development department to share the date of newborn babies registered with union council secretaries with the health department.

He said that the involvement of lady health workers was being improved in the polio eradication drives so to achieve the set targets successfully. Health official informed that 591 teams had been constituted to immunize 175333 kids under the age of five years in the forthcoming drive commencing from Jan 11.

The deputy commissioner showed concern over the refusal cases and asked the district health communication support officer to formulate refusal cases coverage plan and ensure immunisation of all such children through polio workers.

He also directed assistant commissioner to check attendance of employees in district polio control room on daily basis and review their performance on daily and weekly basis. Bakhtiar expressed satisfaction over the results of previous campaign and urged the need for bringing further improvement with special focus on coverage of refusal cases and administering missed and not available children with oral polio vaccine.

He also said that officials of district administration along with health authorities would monitor anti polio drive so to keep a check on the work and performance of polio teams and ensure vaccination of targeted population against the crippling disease.