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Strengthening of routine immunization is vital for polio eradication: Dr. Ejaz Munir

Sec Health PunjabLahore:  Secretary Health Punjab Dr. Ejaz Munir has said that strengthening of routine immunization is vital for polio eradication. He said that under Punjab Health Roadmap Programme, target of routine immunization coverage is to enhance it upto 80% by 2015. He said that though the Punjab is polio-free during current year due to intensive anti-polio drives but to keep the province polio-free is a big challenge as the virus is roaming around.

He said this while addressing a polio orientation and planning workshop organized by Rotary Club Pakistan at a local hotel here today. He observed that vaccination of IDP’s children is a very important issue and Punjab Health Department has issued instructions to all EDOs health to ensure polio vaccination of IDP’s children in their respective districts. He said that national action plan for polio eradication is strictly implemented in Punjab and every month Chief Secretary himself presiding meetings of DCOs in which the progress on action plan is reviewed. Dr. Ejaz Munir said that special arrangements have been made to administer polio drops to the children at all transactional points of the province as well as in trains, for which cooperation of police and transport department and the transporters have been obtained. He said that no refusal case of polio drops has been reported in Punjab. Secretary Health lauded the services and cooperation of Rotary Club for eradication of polio from Pakistan and said that the cooperation between Health Department Punjab and Rotary Club would be continued in future for achieving this noble cause.

Earlier, Chairperson Rotary Club Pakistan Aziz Memon, in his speech appreciated the efforts and measures taken by Punjab Government for polio eradication. He said that the commitment shown by the Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif for making his province polio-free is a precedent for others. He reiterated that Rotary Club would continue its efforts for making a polio-free Pakistan. Focal person for Prime Minister of Pakistan on Polio, Ayesha Raza, MNA said that firm commitment is shown at highest level for polio eradication and Prime Minister of Pakistan himself monitoring the anti-polio campaign. She further said that President of Pakistan also held a “Jirga” of Tribal elders for getting their cooperation for administering polio drops to the children in FATA and Wazirastan. Ayesha Raza further said that efforts are being made by four provinces for polio eradication but Punjab has made more effective arrangements for vaccination of children which results no polio case in Punjab during 2014. She said that vaccination of IDP’s children is a big challenge which should be focused by the provincial health departments. She lauded the efforts and services of Rotary Club of Pakistan for polio eradication. Earlier, a review of polio situation in four provinces was presented in the workshop and the participants discussed future strategy/planning for anti-polio campaigns in the provinces.

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