Rawalpindi-The district government on Wednesday put the health department on alert after polio virus was found in samples collected from sewage in Dhok Dalal area.

Deputy Commissioner Talat Mehmood Gondal ordered officials of the health department to launch special vaccination campaign in Dhok Dalal where the polio virus was found in sewage. He also asked the officials to focus Mandi Morr area and its suburbs to eradicate the fatal virus. He said that two samples collected for testing during January 2018 had proved positive during examination.

“The children less than 5 years of age and even people up to 40-year-old living in Mandi Morr and its suburbs should be administrated polio drops to avoid transmission of the virus to other areas,” the DC directed.

The DC issued these directions during a meeting organised by the health department regarding anti-polio campaign.

Chief Executive Officer Health Authority Sohail Chaudhary, District Officer Health Dr Abdul Jabbar, Dr Uzma Hayat, Coordinator World Health Organisation Dr Amir Sheikh, AC Murree Arif Awan, AC Gujar Khan Mehreen Fahim Abbasi, AC Kahuta Ansar Hayat, AC Cant Amber Gillani, representative of allied departments and other concerned officers also attended the meeting.

Addressing the meeting, the DC Talat Mehmood Gondal said that the health department should improve its strategy in order to cope with the environmental samples which had proved positive in the area of Dhok Dalal. He said that special focus should be paid for vaccination of travellers to and from Mandi Morr and adjacent areas.

“Age limit for vaccination of travellers needs to be enhanced to 40 years,” he said while directing the health department to devise a plan with to cover updated targets keeping in view readings of the current census report and also the shortcomings and limitations of the previous year.  He said that special attention was needed to be paid to not-available children and refusal cases. He said that active participation of parents was needed to make the campaign successful. He directed for establishing a monitoring mechanism for the campaign and also ordered for submitting daily reports.

The DC also directed the allied departments to ensure availability of committed human resource for the campaign and warned that no lethargy in this regard would be tolerated.

Sharing details of arrangement for anti-polio campaign going to be kicked off from February 12 to 16, the CEO Health Sohail Chaudhry said that a target to vaccinate 8,40,000 children below 5 years of age had been fixed. The CEO Health further said that total 2,739 teams had been designated for the task, adding that health officers would monitor progress of the campaign. He said that 1,624 refusal cases had been recorded were out of which 1,362 had been covered so far.