RAWALPINDI: Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Ali Randhawa on Tuesday asked the District Health Authority to speed up work to cover all those children who were missed during the last anti-polio campaign.

“The health department should involve political and religious leaders to convince parents who are still not allowing the polio teams to administer drops to their children,” he said while chairing a post-polio vaccination drive meeting.

“As many as 99,681 children were missed in the Rawalpindi city, cantonment, Gujar Khan and Taxila. But the health teams managed to administer drops to 78,807 children,” District Health Officer Dr Mohammad Naveed informed the meeting.

He said total 14,042 parents refused to administer anti-polio drops to their children. But after involvement of the deputy commissioner, the number of cases reduced.

14,042 parents refused to administer polio drops to their children during last campaign in district, meeting told

“Now 3,000 cases are pending and efforts are being to also cover them,” he said.

The deputy commissioner said the health authority should contact him if any parent refused to administer polio drops to their children.

He said the religious and political leadership was ready to help the administration and in this regard the vaccinators may contact prayer leader of the area concerned if there was any refusal case.

“Though no polio case has been detected in Rawalpindi district, environment samples collected in the city had recently tested positive so the health authority would have to work hard,” said the DC.

He said the government wanted to eradicate the crippling disease in the country and the target would be achieved when all the districts worked hard.

He said there was a need to create awareness among the citizens about the vaccination drive.

Permanent counters would be set up at the railway stations, bus stands and entry points of the district so all children coming from other areas are vaccinated.

He said messages from religious leaders would be shared in the social media and cable television network to inform people that anti-polio vaccination is necessary for the health of children.

Published in Dawn, July 3rd, 2019