LAHORE - Punjab Health Department has decided to launch a 12-day anti-measles campaign in the province from January 26 which would continue till February 06.

Anti-measles vaccination will be administered to 28.5 million children from six months to ten years of age during the campaign which will cost Rs2 billion. The decision was taken at a meeting held at civil Secretariat on Saturday to review polio situation and arrangements for anti-measles campaign.

Punjab Health DG Dr Zahid Pervaiz, Additional Health Secretary (Technical) Dr Salman Shahid, Health Director (EPI) Dr Munir Ahmed, representatives of WHO Dr Ubaidul Islam, Dr Mazhar Qureshi, Dr Naeem Ullah of Unicef, International Consultant for EPI and Routine Immunization Prof Tariq Bhutta, Dean Institute of Child Health and Children’s Hospital Prof Masood Sadiq, Medical Director Children Hospital Prof Ahsan Rathor and other officers were present on the occasion.

The DG Health said that arrangements of vaccination, disposable syringes and other logistics for anti-measles campaign had been completed. All lady workers would take part in the campaign and training of vaccinators and injectors was underway.

The meeting also discussed the existing situation of polio, measures to increase coverage of routine immunization up to 90 per cent and running of anti-polio campaigns during low season. The meeting was informed that 290 cases of polio were reported in the country during 2014 which included 174 in Fata/Waziristan, 67 in KPK, 23 in Balochistan, 29 in Sindh and 03 in Punjab.

The Director EPI informed the meeting that 4085 fixed points would be made for anti-measles campaign. He said that 12193 mobile teams had been constituted for vaccination of children and 16278 skilled persons would take part in the campaign. He said that 20363 team assistants had also been appointed for the support of teams.

Moreover, services of 292632 social mobilizers would also be sought for the motivation of parents. He said that announcement regarding the teams would be made through local mosques and Deras of public representatives and elite of the areas. He said that social mobilisers would visit the houses and motivate the people to come to designated place for vaccination of children.

The WHO representative said that reasons of only three cases in Punjab were that the Chief Minister and his team had taken the issue seriously. The meeting was informed that android phones had been provided to vaccinators for increasing the routine immunization coverage.

E-Vacc programme has been started for keeping an eye on the performance. Besides Health Watch System, new posts of 254 vaccinators, 54 AVS and 15 Deputy District Officers have been created for meeting the shortage of staff.

Honorarium of Rs 500 per day instead of R 250 will be given to polio workers.