KARACHI Provincial Health Minister Dr Sagheer Ahmed has expressed serious concerns over the deaths of children in the country from vaccine-preventable illnesses and said that the community participation is vital to eradicate polio from the country. He was speaking at a two-day National Vaccination Seminar organised by Trust for Vaccines and Immunisations (TVI). On the occasion, Secretary Health Hashim Raza, IPI Programme Manager Dr Altaf, Porf Tipu Sultan of PMA were also present. He said that reports of new polio cases in the country was terrible; around 27 cases were reported in the province last year, while 10 new have been resurfaced so far in the province. It is pertinent to mention here that every year over 150,000 children die of vaccine-preventable illnesses in Pakistan. Pakistan is one of the four countries of the world where the number of polio affected children is increasing. Dr Sagheer said that the provincial government was ready to run federal institutions under the devolution programme. We need resources from the federal government to run these institutions, he said. Separately, representatives of Pakistan Medical Association, Sindh, held a meeting with Minister of Health Dr Sagheer Ahmed, Secretary Health Hashim Raza Zaidi the other day. The PMA Sindh was represented by Prof Idrees Adhi, Dr Samrina Hashmi, Dr Pir Manzoor Ali, Dr Saeed Memon, Dr Bashir Khaskheli, Dr Usman Mako and Dr Hamz Ali Panwar. On the occasion, the ministers team members, including Prof Umer Farooq, Pro-Vice Chancellor DUHS, and Prof Akber Haider Soomro, Vice Chancellor Benazir Bhutto Shaheed University Larkana were also there in the meeting. The PMA presented the case and plight of Sindh doctors. Most of the demands of doctors like promotions, service structure, salary packages and incentives like NPA, PCA and house rent and bringing the rural allowances equal to urban are already in the pipeline. The health commission bill and hospital and clinics regulatory bill were also discussed at length first at Dr Sagheers office and then with Secretary Health Hashim Zaidi at PMA Central Secretariat. The problems with time scale promotions and the pyramid structure of health promotions were also discussed in detail. The meeting ended in good atmosphere and the protest meetings had been delayed for 15 days, as the Health Department under the leadership of Dr Sagheer Ahmed is discussing the matters with Finance Minister Murad Ali Shah.