PESHAWAR - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Secretary Shehzad Arbab has expressed concern over the increasing number of polio cases so far registered in the province and strictly directed the concerned quarters to comply with the orders issued for the eradication of polio and ensure quick implementation of the measures as desired by the provincial government.

He was chairing a high level meeting of the Peshawar Task Force on the eradication of polio disease here on Wednesday.

The administrative secretaries concerned, representatives of the World Health Organization and other officers attended the meeting.

The chief secretary stated that among the endemic countries including Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan, the ratio of increase in the polio cases during the year 2012 and 2013 was highest in Pakistan, which was an alarming signal and needed to be tackled with seriously. 

The chief secretary was told that during the year 2012, there were 58 cases of polio reported which showed an increase to 85 during the year 2013. He was shown that in the non-endemic countries the overall polio reported cases were 212 during 2012 while slight increase was made during 2013 with an estimated number of 148 polio cases. He was told that Pakistan was the only endemic country where 85 polio cases were reported which was an alarming figure.

During the meeting, district-wise progress reports were also reviewed. The CS expressed displeasure over the non-availability of some of the DPOs in the meetings regarding polio eradication campaign and directed that now onwards the DPOs would attend the same meetings regularly and would ensure proper security measures to the polio teams. He also directed that the security issue should be given much importance and all the deputy commissioners would be bound to view the progress of the polio teams in their respective districts.

Meanwhile, chairing a meeting regarding the over increasing prices of essential commodities in the markets the chief secretary directed for not only ensuring official rate lists on the business centers but also issued strict directives to the price review committees to monitor their activities. He said that the public were being subjected to heavy prices especially in the daily use items and stated that no leniency on the part of the quarters concerned would be tolerated further.