We are making progress in eradicating polio, Governor

Peshawar: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor Sardar Mahtab Ahmad Khan has said we are making progress in eradicating the virus of the crippling disease adding that anti-polio endeavours are going in the right direction. He said all out efforts are being made for complete eradication of polio from the country to make Pakistan a polio free state to save the future of next generation.

He was presiding over a high level meeting about polio eradication in the province and FATA and reviewed   anti-polio campaign and polio situation in FATA here at Governor’s house on Thursday. Besides, Senior Program Representative Pakistan, Bill and Malanda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Dr. Waqar Ajmal,  the Principal Secretary to Governor, Sikandar Qayyum, Coordinator EOC FATA, Secretary Law and Order ,Shakeel Qadir, Secretary AI&C FATA, Zaheer ul Islam, representative of health departments and others also attended the meeting.

A detailed briefing was also given to the Governor about the success in polio eradication and ongoing anti polio campaign in FATA, EOC FATA Coordinator Shakeel Qadir Khan attributed recent successes such as polio case response campaigns launched in FR Peshawar and Landi Kotal to EOC FATA team, Political Agents and frontline workers in FATA and FRs.

The meeting was told that Continuous Community Protected Vaccination approach will soon be adopted for vaccination in whereas in Landikotal local Lady Health Workers have already been engaged in anti-polio vaccination campaigns. Governor asked the EOC FATA team to dig into details of accessibility and quality of campaign for planning corrective measures if there are any loopholes.

He also stressed the need to have strong support of international community working in Afghanistan within an objective to stop polio transmission to Pakistan through Afghan border. Governor emphasized role of Political Agents and EOC FATA to make tribal region polio free. Governor asked all relevant officials for their effective participation in polio immunization campaign to eradicate polio from the country.

Governor directed the relevant officials to focus on preparedness of campaign, accountability of staff and their relevancy, training of the onboard staff, and monitoring the campaign so that maximum results should be achieved in order to eradicate the polio in the region competently.

Governor Mahtab emphasized the need for well coordinated efforts in anti-polio activities near border with Afghanistan, especially, so that it proves stitched with the anti-polio activities on other side of the border. He said this would ultimately contribute in defeating the virus to prevail in FATA and the whole region. He further ordered to conduct training sessions for polio workers to improve their efficiency.

The Governor said rewards and punishment to frontline workers should be performance based and a criteria for this be developed. He directed the relevant officials that performance of anti polio workers should strictly be monitored and asked to submit the performance report on regular basis.

The Governor advised that efficient and innovative methods should be worked out for campaigning to stop polio transmission to Khyber Agency and FR Peshawar. The Governor said rewards and punishment to frontline workers should be performance based and a criteria for this be developed.

He added innovative mechanism should be developed for optimizing the utilization of available resources and personnel in polio campaigning: such as Lady Health Workers. He said strict action would be taken against lapses on the part of officials and polio team members in case of in competency and dishonesty.

He directed the officials concerned that more effective and well coordinated immunization and anti-polio campaign be followed vigorously in the province and FATA and vaccination of every child be ensured to save the future of the country.

He said that every possible step should be taken to ensure the effective and successful door to door anti polio campaign and asked the relevant officials would have to work jointly to make Pakistan a polio-free region.

Advisor and senior program representative in Pakistan, Bill and Malanda Gates Foundation lauded the efforts made by EOC FATA team to sustain accessibility, reduce the number of missed children and responding to polio cases in Landi Kotal and FR Peshawar with polio response campaigns.

He highlighted that it would not have been possible without supportive supervision of Coordinator EOC. Governor also appreciated the role of international community especially the, Bill and Malanda Gates Foundation for their efforts to wipe out the crippling disease from the country.

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