LAHORE - Adviser to CM Punjab on Health Kh Salman Rafiq has said that the nation is facing challenges of terrorism and diseases.

“We are fighting to save our children from terrorists and diseases,” the adviser said while addressing Provincial Anti Measles Advocacy Conference at Aiwan-e-Iqbal on Saturday.

As many as 28.5 million children from six months to 10 years of age will be inoculated. Health Secretary Jawad Rafiq Malik, Health DG Dr Zahid Pervaiz, representatives of WHO and Bill Gates Foundation, prominent paediatrician Prof Tariq Bhutta, Children’s Hospital Director Prof Ahsan Waheed Rathore, EDO Health, nurses and paramedics attended the conference.

Salman stressed upon the authorities of Health Department, lady health workers and vaccinators to conduct 12-day anti-measles campaign starting from January 26 in Punjab with a national spirit for the future of Pakistan. He said that the challenge of controlling diseases in Punjab would be overcome at every cost.

Anti measles campaign was carried out in Punjab with a sum of Rs1.5 billion in 2013 as a result of which only 89 cases were reported and no death occurred in 2014, he said. Over Rs2.70 billion would be spent on the campaign this year, he added.

The adviser stressed upon the parents to extend cooperation and get their children immune against measles. He also appealed the media to continue support for conveying health message at doorstep.

Earlier, the Parliamentary Health secretary said that India had eliminated polio whereas over 300 cases had been reported in Pakistan. He stressed the need of taking part in anti polio and measles campaign with a national spirit.

The Health secretary said that 16000 teams had been constituted for the campaign and besides vaccine, anti reaction medicines had been provided to each team.

Prof Tariq Bhutta said that the deaths caused by measles alone were more than collective tolls of other diseases in the world. He stressed upon effective coverage of routine immunisation and measles campaign.