Lahore: Advisor to Chief Minister Punjab on Health Khawaja Salman Rafique has said that the nation is facing challenges in shape of terrorism and diseases. Terrorists are martyring our children and we have fight against both to save our children from terrorists as well as from diseases. He urged upon the authorities of Health Department, lady health workers and vaccinators to conduct 12-day anti-measles campaign being started from January 26 in Punjab with a national spirit for the future of Pakistani children during which 28.5 million children from six months to ten years of age will be inoculated.
He said this while addressing Provincial Anti Measles Advocacy Conference at Awan-e-Iqbal, today. Secretary Health Jawad Rafique Malik, Director General Health Dr. Zahid Pervaiz, representatives of WHO, Billgates Foundation, prominent pediatrician Prof. Tariq Bhutta, Medical Director Children Hospital Prof. Ahsan Waheed Rathore, officers of Health Department, EDO Health, Nurses and paramedics attended in large numbers.
During his speech, Kh. Salman Rafique became emotional. He said that our forefathers rendered numerous sacrifices for achieving Pakistan but the promises made at that time could not be fulfilled and now every Pakistani is facing difficult situation. He said that after Pakistan movement, the journey for achieving goals of the country is continuing. He said that the challenge of controlling diseases in Punjab will be overcome at every cost. He said that all challenges under the leadership of Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif will be faced courageously.
Kh. Salman Rafique said that in 2013, anti measles campaign was launched in Punjab with a sum of Rs.1.5 billion as a result of which, only 89 cases of measles were reported in 2014 and no death was occurred. He said that the anti measles campaign being launched from January 26 will continue to February 9 and more than Rs. 2.70 billion will be spent. He stressed upon the parents to extend cooperation to Health Department during anti measles campaign and must get vaccinate their children. Kh. Salman Rafiq asked mediamen to continue their support for spreading health message at doorstep.
Earlier, Parliamentary Secretary Health Kh. Imran Nazeer said that on the defeat of cricket match from India we become emotional and have desired to win match from India at every cost but India eliminated polio whereas more than 300 polio cases have been reported in our country. He said that we should take part in anti polio and measles campaign with a national spirit.
Prof. Tariq Bhutta said that the deaths due to measles are more than that the total deaths of children occurred in the world every year due to various diseases. He stressed upon effective coverage of routine immunization beside measles campaign. Director General Health Dr. Zahid Pervaiz said that political leadership and professionals have gathered at one platform and expressed hope that the targets of anti-measles campaign will certainly be achieved.
Secretary Health Jawad Rafique Malik said that Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif and Advisor Health Kh. Salman Rafiq are committed for anti measles campaign and now it is responsibilities of health managers and health workers to make this campaign a success. He told that 16 thousands teams have been constituted for anti measles campaign and besides vaccine, anti reaction medicines have been provided to each team.
Representative of UNICEP Dr. Rana Mushtaq said that vaccine to be used in anti measles campaign have been purchased through UNICEF which is of international quality and used in 123 countries of the world. Dr. Mushtaq said that most modern refrigerators are available with Health Department for storing this vaccine and their prices is eight times more than the ordinary refrigerators. He stressed that the vaccine should not be kept out of cold chain for a long period during injection for maintaining its efficacy.