QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani has directed all healthcare centres and basic health units to ensure availability of vaccines and anti-polio drops.
Presiding over a meeting of the provincial anti-polio task force here on Thursday, he said Balochistan would soon be made a polio-free province.
The meeting reviewed anti-polio campaigns and vaccination systems in all healthcare centres. Health officials informed the meeting that the National Emergency Action Plan had produced positive results and anti-polio coverage increased in Balochistan.
“Environmental samples of Quetta and Qila Abdullah have tested positive, thus there is a need for more effective measure to halt further spread of poliovirus among the children below the age of five,” the officials said, adding that the International Advisory Group had lauded the Balochistan government’s efforts to curb the crippling disease.
The meeting agreed to make vaccination certificate mandatory for children’s admission to schools, besides B-Form and directed the health department to prepare recommendations regarding the initiative.
The chief minister said all institutions should take measures to eradicate polio from Balochistan. “Eradication of polio is our national duty and the provincial government will utilise its resources for the purpose.”
The meeting stressed the need for effective coordination between security personnel and polio workers and suggested action against health officials over negligence during anti-polio drives. “Use of modern technology, access to all areas and strict monitoring would be helpful in eradicating polio from our soil,” it emphasised.
The meeting approved fresh recruitment of female polio workers and announced launching of awareness campaigns to remove negative perception among the masses about polio vaccine.
The chief minister praised the World Health Organisation and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund for cooperating with the Balochistan government in its efforts to eradicate polio from the province.
A three-day anti-polio campaign will begin in 21 of the 33 districts of Balochistan on Monday (March 25) during which more than 1.7 million children under the age of five would be administered polio droops.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, coordinator of Emergency Operation Centre (EOC), Balochistan, Rashid Razzaq said: “We have completed all arrangements and 6,845 teams will take part in the anti-polio campaign. Security arrangement for the campaign has been finalised and Frontier Corps, police and Levies personnel will provide security to the anti-polio staff.”
Published in Dawn, March 22nd, 2019