BAJAUR: The technicians of Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) on Friday announced to boycott the coming anti-polio campaign in Bajaur tribal district, scheduled to be launched from Monday, in protest against non-payment of their salaries for the last nine months.

They made the announcement during a protest demonstration held outside the district health officer’s office in the district headquarters hospital, Khar.

The technicians said they had been protesting since June 14 against non-payment of their salaries, as they had been facing severe financial problems in the ongoing situation.

The protesters reiterated their request to the provincial government and the health department to accept their longstanding demands immediately.

Demand payment of salaries withheld for nine months

Talking to mediapersons later, leaders of the protesting EPI technicians Mohammad Younas Khan and Ayaz Khan said that 26 workers who were appointed under the Global Alliance for Vaccines and immunisation had been working as junior EPI technicians here for the last 16 years without any promotion.

Meanwhile, the district administration and health department on Friday vowed to make a success the planned anti-polio drive starting from Monday. A meeting in this regard was held here in the DC office.

The meeting was also addressed by DC Mohammad Fayyaz Khan. The participants were briefed about preparations made for the anti-polio drive being conducted after a gap of about six months.

FEUD SETTLED: The elders peacefully settled about two decades old feud between two rival groups in Bajaur tribal district the other day.

The conflict between the families of Malik Yar Zaman and Malik Aziz Khan of Badan locality of Mamond tehsil was said to be among the longest and deadliest in the region.

The rival groups formally ended their enmity in a ceremony held for the purpose in Badan area.

Prominent elders, officials of the administration and police department attended the ceremony. PTI lawmaker Gul Zafar Khan and tribal elders were also present.

Several jirga members, including JUI-F district chief Maulana Abdur Rasheed, Malik Mohammad Ayaz (chief of Mamond ) and Malik Habibullah Khan ( head of the jirga), also addressed the gathering.

They said that scores of people from both sides were killed and wounded in clashes that had started over a land dispute.

SEALED: Authorities sealed six private medical laboratories being run by unqualified persons here the other day.

Assistant commissioner Fazal Raheem told mediapersons that six laboratories located outside the DHQ hospital, Khar, were sealed during an action conducted by the administration and officials of the Healthcare Commission, Malakand region.

Published in Dawn, July 12th, 2020