LAHORE - Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid chaired high-level meeting of the Provincial Task Force for Polio Eradication at the Darbar Hall, Civil Secretariat, here on Thursday to review progress on Polio eradication in Punjab. 

Present in the meeting were Chief Secretary Punjab Jawwad Rafique Malik, Secretary Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department Captain (retd) Usman Younis, Secretary School Education Department Sara Aslam, Deputy Commissioner Danish Afzal, Polio Team Lead Punjab World Health Organization Dr Abdinasir Adem whereas Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners of Punjab joined via video link. 

Captain (retd) Usman Younis apprised the minister of the programme efforts and activities. 

In her address, the Minister Health said, “The Polio campaign in Punjab will  begin from September 21. In the polio campaign, around 20 million children will be administered polio drops. All Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners will personally monitor the polio campaign. The government may take strict action on emergence of new polio cases in the province. I urge all parents to get their children vaccinated. Parents may save their children from the disease through vaccination. No laxity or negligence in polio campaign will be acceptable. During the campaign, all the SOPs must be implemented in letter and spirit.” 

Jawad Rafique Malik expressed displeasure over absence of some districts in the meeting. He said that Deputy Commissioners must personally supervise the campaign. He added, “Even one polio case raises question mark over the performance of a Deputy Commissioner. Officials found guilty of negligence during the polio campaign shall face disciplinary action.” 

Scale up dengue surveillance amid changing weather: Minister Health 

Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid directed officials to scale up surveillance in the Cabinet Meeting for Dengue Prevention at Darbar Hall of Civil Secretariat here on Thursday. 

Present in the meeting were Chief Secretary Punjab Jawad Rafique Malik, Punjab Minister for Auqaf Saeedul Hassan Jaffery, Secretary Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department Captain (Retd) Usman Younis, Deputy Commissioner Lahore Danish Afzal, Secretary School Education Sara Aslam whereas Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners joined via video link. Also in attendance were representatives of Punjab Police, Directorate General Public Relations, Civil Aviation Authority, Livestock Department, PHA, DHA, Rescue 1122, Special Branch, Higher Education Department, Local Government, Punjab Healthcare Commission and officials of other departments. 

Captain (Retd) Usman Younis gave detailed briefing on Dengue prevention activities. Other concerned department also shared their respective contributions in the meeting. 

The Health Minister said, “All the Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners must personally supervise dengue prevention activities. In view of changing weather, efforts for Dengue control need to be scaled up accordingly and no negligence will be tolerated. The Punjab Healthcare Commission must present report on inspection of hospitals. Medicines have been made available at all hospitals. Only by identification of hot spots, larvacidal activities can yield best results.” 

Expressing displeasure over reports of fake data, she said, “The PITB must analyze data and identify districts fudging data. Although dengue is under control in Punjab, yet disciplinary action will be taken on violation of SOPs of the Dengue Expert Advisory Group. Enhanced surveillance is urgently needed in areas reporting cases. All departments will have to work in synergy to control dengue in Punjab. All districts are directed to update their daily data on dashboard. I appeal people to keep their homes, offices and shops clean and tidy. The awareness campaign on dengue is underway in Punjab. The government is making all out efforts to control dengue.”