LAHORE    -   At least 49,305 children missed anti-polio vaccine during last the polio drive, it has been revealed in warning letters to 10 deputy district officers (DDOs) for health in Lahore by the district administration.

These DDOs have been given Friday deadline to achieve their targets and make sure that missed children get anti-polio vaccine.  The district administration on Tuesday compiled the data of missed children and put the children, who were not given anti-polio vaccine in the last campaign, in the category of Still Missed Children.

The warning letter to Aziz Bhatti Town DDO for Health reads: “Still missed children are 4,477. The above statistics clearly show that you have not been able to achieve your assigned targets. You are hereby directed to explain your position on this complacency. You are further directed to ensure 100 percent coverage of above mentioned children along with updation of log books up to Friday, 12-04-2109.”

The DDOs have been warned that failure to achieve the targets would be presumed inefficiency and loose administrative control over the polio vaccination staff and they will face disciplinary action over this failure.

According to the available data, there are 4,477 Still Missed Children in Aziz Bhatti Zone, 7,442 in Cantonment Zone, 5,111 in Data Gunj Bakhsh Zone, 3,786 in Nishtar Zone, 1,752 in Gulberg Zone, 6,537 in Ravi Zone, 5,236 in Allama Iqbal Zone, 2,618 in Wagah Zone and 5,975 in Samanabad Zone.

There are 45 children who have been put in the category of Still Refusal. Their parents have not yet allowed polio teams to administer them polio drops. Four such children are in Allama Iqbal Town, two in Nishtar Town, two in Gulberg Town, three in Shalimar Town and 34 in Cantonment Area.

According to the Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme, six polio cases have been reported all over the country, including one in Punjab, in 2019 so far.

The warning letters have been served on DDOs of Cantonment Area, Aziz Bhatti Town, Data Gunj Bakhsh Town, Ravi Town, Shalimar Town, Allama Iqbal Town, Nishtar Town, Samanabad, Gulberg and Wagah Town.  All these officers have been directed to carry out the anti-polio campaign in their administrative control and improve the lower formations of health authorities in their jurisdiction to get the required results.

Lahore Deputy Commissioner Saleha Saeed on Tuesday served warning letters on all deputy district officers for health for not covering the ‘missed children’ during the last polio drive, which started on March 25. She also told the CEO of the health authority to look after the coverage of Still Missed Children and submit a report on it till Friday night. “Survival of each DDO for health depends on his performance in coverage of Still Missed Children,” Saleha said.