Islamabad - The Islamabad High Court Tuesday issued notices to Prime Minister’s focal person for Polio Eradication Initiative (PEI) and the Mayor of Islamabad in a petition of six female government teachers challenging polio vaccination duties assigned to them.

A single bench of IHC comprising of Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani conducted hearing of the petition and expressed his annoyance over non-submission of replies by the ministry of CADD and district administration.

In this matter, six female teachers of the Islamabad Model College for Girls, located in Dhoke Gangal of the capital, had filed a petition arguing that carrying out vaccination was not included in their listed range of duties and it also affected the education of the students.

The petitioners included Shaheen Fatima, Rubina, Kanwal Tahira, Shabana Nargas, Mohsin Fatima and Samina Kousar stated that the concerned authorities should depute well-trained teams for polio vaccination campaigns.

The teachers in the petition requested the court to set aside a notification of the district administration which deputes the petitioners, along with 138 other teachers for the National Polio Immunisation Campaign.

Consequently, Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani had issued notices to the deputy commissioner of the Islamabad Capital Territory, PM’s focal person for Polio Eradication Initiative (PEI) Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq, secretary CADD, district health officer and the mayor of Islamabad to file their replies.

In the petition filed through their counsel, the teachers argued that these additional duties were assigned during the academic session and participating in the campaign affects the education of their students.

They said that they had informed the principal of their college in writing that polio vaccination is not their duty and it affects their students, but no action had been taken.

Therefore, the teachers asked court to direct the PM’s focal person for PIE and the secretary CADD to explain why the staff of health department, nursing schools, students of medical colleges and universities as well as staff of NGOs working in the health sector, were not deputed for the vaccination campaign and to justify the deputation of teachers.

They contended that NGOs working in the health sector get funds from the government as well as international donors, but their trained medical staffs is never deputed for such duties even though the respective NGOs are registered and work under the supervision of the authorities.

The petitioners alleged that medical, paramedical staff and lady health workers among others are deliberately not deputed for vaccination duties despite the fact that they are more relevant for the task and draw monthly salaries from government for health related duties.