SAHIWAL: An inquiry has found some vaccinators in tehsil Arifwala involved in discrepancies in polio vaccination drive and missing vaccine vials.

The report said during the previous polio vaccination campaign in urban Union Council 37 of Arifwala, some discrepancies were reported against the vaccinators.

Sources said the children were not vaccinated in the UC and some vaccines got wasted or went missing.

The report completed with a delay of at least 23 days is now going to be submitted to the Director Expanded Programme on Immunisation Punjab in Lahore.

Dawn learnt from the sources an inquiry report was to be submitted on Aug 10 but its findings were submitted on Sept 2.

Dr Athar, the chief executive officer of district health authority Pakpattan, confirmed to Dawn the inquiry committee had submitted its report and final recommendations to his office, which would be sent to Director EPI Punjab, the commissioner Sahiwal and Pakpattan Deputy Commissioner Ahmed Kamal Mann within a day.

Unavailability of the polio vaccine to UC 37 of Arifwala was also reported by the mainstream media.

It is learnt that Dr Zeeshan, the area coordinator WHO, Sahiwal division, had reported the matter to the CEO health Pakpattan. In response to the complaints the CEO health, on Aug 7, formed a two-member committee to inquire into the matter of non-vaccination of children, wastage of vaccine and examination of vaccination record in stock.

The committee was headed by Pakpattan District Health Officer Dr Riaz Ahmed while Arifwala Deputy District Health Officer Dr Shahid Aziz was its member. The committee was given three days to submit its report but it took 23 days to complete its job.

It is said that WHO Pakistan, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Ministry of National Health Services, through tweets, also pointed out the problem and lack of action by the local authorities over waste of vaccine and non-vaccination of children in the Arifwala area.

After this the CEO health got active and the committee submitted its report on Sept 2.

Pakpattan DC Ahmed Kamal Mann told Dawn that the committee had found five polio vaccine vials missing from the stock and recommended action under PEEDA 2006 against vaccinators.

Published in Dawn, September 5th, 2020

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