A lady health worker administers polio drops in Peshawar. – File photo by Reuters
A lady health worker administers polio drops in Peshawar. – File photo by Reuters

PESHAWAR, Jan 3: Keeping in view the frequent terrorist attacks against workers of anti-polio teams in Peshawar, the local administration has made a plan for the security of vaccinators engaged for the forthcoming immunisation campaign beginning on Jan 5.

Under the plan, motorcycle riding will be banned in the 48 high-risk union councils of the provincial capital during the four-day immunisation campaign, it is learnt.

The security plan was finalised during a meeting chaired by Deputy Commissioner of Peshawar Mohammad Javaid Marwat at his office on Thursday, where Peshawar SSP (operations) Imran Shahid, Assistant Commissioner Sikandar Zeeshan, Dr Akram Shah of the provincial health department, representatives of World Health Organisation and officials of other relevant departments were in participated.

After thorough discussion on the issues emerged from the recent killing of vaccinators in parts of Peshawar, the participants decided that the next drive would be completed in phases to ensure security of vaccinators.

They said polio drops would be administered to children in Town-4 areas on Jan 5, Town-3 on Jan 6, Town-1 on Jan 7, and Town-2 on Jan 8.

During the meeting, the DC directed the relevant officials to discharge duties diligently. He said another meeting would be held today (Friday) to review preparations for the next polio campaign.

Meanwhile, officials of the city’s different police stations have demanded additional force for supervision of polio teams, saying the existing manpower would not be able to spare time from the routine patrolling.

“We already have problems of lack of personnel and it is duty of the high-ups to arrange the reinforcement,” an official of Khazana police station told Dawn, saying the area was very vast, while the resources were limited.

He said the local police had to check movement of the suspected elements thoroughly because the areas were linked to Charsadda district bordering Mohmand Agency from where terrorists could come to the city anytime for their activities.

“We will apprise the relevant officials of our problems in our Friday meeting with DC and will demand additional force to ensure foolproof security arrangements,” the official said.

However, the Mathra police claimed to have sufficient number of policemen and could provide security to polio teams.

“We have presently 130 policemen and at daytime, they can manage to do additional duty,” the official said. About the arrest of the killers of a female vaccinator in the city, the official said there was no progress in the investigation so far.

Our Correspondent adds from Charsadda: Lady health workers in Charsadda district have refused to take part in polio campaign starting today (Friday) over security grounds.

The local officials said 267 teams had formed to carry out the campaign in 20 union councils of Charsadda and that majority of these union councils were located in Shabqadar tehsil, which had declared high-risk areas for poliovirus.

They said the administration had deployed additional personnel and banned motorcycle riding for one day in Shabqadar tehsil to ensure foolproof security of polio teams during the campaign.

The officials said the administration had completed security arrangements for vaccinators by engaging local patwari, union council secretary and local elders.

They said female health workers had refused to participate in the campaign after attacks on polio workers and the growing insecurity.