LAKKI MARWAT - The district polio eradication committee has decided to ensure female teachers participation up to the desired level in high-risk union councils in anti-polio drives.

The committee met here at District Secretariat on Thursday to discuss arrangements and preparations for the upcoming polio eradication campaign. The three-day campaign will likely begin on November 19.

ACO Liaqat Ali Bhatti chaired the meeting, which was attended among others by frontier region Assistant Political Agent Muhammad Fayyaz Sherpao, HRDO Syed Khalid Israr Shah, EDO health Dr Abdul Ghaffar, District Collector Ihsanullah, Polio Eradication Officer Dr Adnan Akbar, PPHI DSP Ihsanullah and WHO representative Dr Illauddin.

Arrangements for the three-day drive in adjacent frontier tribal region were also discussed in the meeting. Agency Surgeon Dr Mashal Khan said that 42 mobile teams would perform door-to-door activity to immunise children against polio.

Besides, 5 fixed and one transit team will administer drops to the kids in health facilities and at transit points including public places and bus stands, he said. He further said the health department with the help of political administration would engage tribal chiefs in the campaign to achieve the goals successfully. “The involvement of female teachers in high risk union councils of the district including Sulemankhel, Takhtikhel, Darra Tang, Bakhmal Ahmadzai, Behramkhel and Ahmadkhel is not up to the desirable level”, said EPI coordinator Dr Hafeezullah.

He said the coverage of children below the age of five could be improved in high risk union councils with the help of female teachers’ participation and by making union council level polio eradication committees fully functional. 

EDO education Haji Meer Azam said on the occasion that most of high-risk union councils bordered with frontier tribal region and local female teachers were not available there.  He suggested that male teachers could be made part of polio teams instead of female teachers in those far-flung union councils.

He informed that teachers and students delivered the message regarding usefulness of oral polio vaccine for kids’ health and hazardous effect of the disease by holding walks and functions last month. 

Health officials told that activation of union council level polio eradication committees would be helpful to make anti polio drives a success. “There is the need to make the process of evaluating and monitoring the performance of these committees more effective and result oriented”, they maintained.

ACO Liaqat Bhatti underlined the need for launching concerted efforts to wipe out the epidemic from the district completely. He assured that local administration would approach district police officer for deployment of policemen at transit points during the three-day drive against polio. He called upon the health officials and other stakeholders to ensure access to every child and also take all out measures for the coverage of refusal cases.