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Shahbaz declares war against measles

LAHORE, June 7: Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has approved an action plan for protecting children against measles and the provision of best treatment facilities at hospitals.

He has also sought a vigorous campaign against the disease on a war footing. The CM was chairing a meeting here on Friday to review the situation following the outbreak of measles in the province and the measures to be taken for controlling the menace.

Declaring a war against the disease, he said all-out steps would be taken to save children and he would personally review the situation weekly, while the chief secretary would preside over a daily meeting.

Shahbaz directed a special campaign for public awareness against measles on the pattern of dengue, and utilising the system devised by the Punjab Information Technology Board for collecting data.

He sought a vaccination campaign at union council level and ensuring inoculation of every child from nine months to 10 years of age. He directed to accelerate the process of purchase of vaccine without waiting for international donors. He urged upon MNAs and MPAs to sympathise with the families affected by measles and daily monitor the situation in their areas.

Expressing indignation over the failure to launch an immunisation campaign against measles in time and timely purchase of the vaccine, Shahbaz constituted a three-member inquiry committee to be headed by Home Secretary Shahid Khan, seeking a report within 48 hours.

The health secretary told the meeting 15,998 children had been affected in Punjab. He said in the first phase, the vaccination campaign would be launched in 12 districts of the province from June 24 to July 4, and the remaining districts would be covered in the second phase.

He said vitamin A capsules would also be given out during the campaign for developing resistance among children.

Lawmakers Khwaja Saad Rafique, Pervaiz Malik, Malik Riaz, Afzal Khokhar, Mehr Ishtiaq, Sohail Shaukat Butt, Rana Mashhood, Zaeem Qadri, the chief secretary and secretaries of health, schools education, commissioner, vice chancellor of King Edward Medical University and other officials concerned were present.