Rawalpindi - Deputy Commissioner Talat Mehmood Gondal on Tuesday pledged to start the anti-polio campaign with full commitment to eradicate the deadly virus from the district.

He said that although the environmental sample of November and December 2017 had been declared negative, more work had to be done to eradicate polio in 2018.

He also directed the concerned departments to devise a fresh plan with new targets keeping in view the shortcomings of previous year and issue new SOPs to ensure their implementation.

“Although only 5 cases of polio were detected in the country, Pakistan stands among the three countries (Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan) in the world that are not declared polio free yet,” DC added. Talat said that along with all government initiatives, there is a need for active participation from parents to make the campaign successful. He also directed to establish a monitoring mechanism for this campaign and ordered the submission of a daily report to his office.

Talat Mehmood Gondal expressed these views while presiding over a meeting organized by health department to review anti-polio campaign.

The meeting was also attended by Chief Executive Officer Health Authority Muhammad Sohail Ahmed Chaudhry, District Officer Health Dr Abdul Jabbar, Dr Sarwat, coordinator World Health Organization, Dr Amir Sheikh, AC Kahuta Ansar Hayat, AC Cannt Amber Gillani, DDHOs, representatives of allied hospitals and other concerned officers.

CEO Health Muhammad Sohail briefed the DC about the arrangements for anti-polio campaign that will kick off from 15 January and continue till 19 January 2018. He said that police teams would vaccinate a total of 8,40,000 children of less than 5 years of age. He added that the health department has appointed some 221 Union Councils Medical Officers and 496 area-in charges to meet the target.

Moreover, 2333 mobile teams and 287 fixed points and 119 transit points have been established, he told DC.  CEO further added that a total of 2739 teams have been designated for this task, the security of polio workers has been arranged, and a health officer has been directed would monitor the progress of campaign.

DC has directed the CEO and officials of other department to show full commitment in making the polio campaign a success. He said the senior officers of health departments should also monitor the performance of the anti polio teams and to submit their reports with DC office on regular basis. He added that no negligence would be tolerated from any official of health department in this regard. “Our prime purpose is to make the district polio free,” he said.