LAHORE - No polio case has been reported in Punjab during the current year that reflects the good performance and hardworking of government departments, Punjab Chief Secretary Naveed Akram Cheema said Tuesday.
Presiding over a meeting to review the action plan for polio-eradication, he directed DCOs and officers of Health Department to sustain their efforts to keep the province polio-free.
State Minister for Health Saira Afzal Tarar, Prime Minister’s Focal Person for Polio Ayesha Raza Farooq, Adviser on Helath Khawaja Salman Rafiq, Health Secretary Dr Ijaz Munir, DCOs, WHO and Unicef reps were also present.
The health secretary briefed the meeting about the current polio situation and steps taken by the government for its eradication.
He informed that during current year, 8 polio cases have been reported in KP, 44 in Fata and 4 cases in Sindh.
He disclosed that so far, no polio case has been reported in Punjab and additional technical support have been provided to Lahore and Rawalpindi districts and line departments have also been engaged for administering polio drops at the permanent check posts set up at border districts.
He said that vigorous anti-polio campaigns have been carried out in the province.
He also informed that more than 70 thousand children have been vaccinated at the permanent check posts on the entry points.
Addressing the meeting, Chief Secretary said that all the departments and officers have to continue their tireless efforts till the complete eradication of polio from the country. He directed that special attention should be paid on the high risk districts.
State Minister Saira Afzal Tarar appreciating the efforts of Punjab government in polio eradication, said that the Punjab government’s performance is tremendous. She said that polio vaccine is very precious and maximum use of vaccine must be ensured to control its wastage.
Ayesha Raza said though Punjab is a model province however, more efforts are required for complete eradication of polio.
Salman said that Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif is very much committed to making Punjab a model province in connection with the provision of health facilities and control of diseases.
He said: “We have to remove the loopholes of our system to fulfill the expectations of the people.” He directed that the District Officers should ensure administration of polio drops to the children travelling with their parents through buses, trains and other means.
He added polio teams should focus on administering drops in the Afghan camps and Pashtoon localities for complete eradication of polio. The international partners present in the meeting while expressing their views, appreciated the efforts of Punjab government for polio eradication.