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Chief Secretary orders stepping up efforts to eradicate polio

Lahore : Chief Secretary Punjab Capt (r) Zahid Saeed has directed deputy commissioners to spearhead the activities being undertaken to eradicate polio in their districts and hold review meetings on regular basis. He said that concerted and joint efforts are needed for complete eradication of polio from the country.

He was presiding over a meeting of Provincial Taskforce on Polio Eradication, at Civil Secretariat here on Thursday.

Addressing the meeting, the Chief Secretary said that efforts for polio eradication be stepped up, adding that no negligence would be tolerated in this regard.

He mentioned that National Action Plan for Polio Eradication is being implemented in the province and international agencies have also acknowledged Punjab government’s efforts in this regard.

He maintained that people’s cooperation is of key importance in efforts to combat polio; all relevant departments should play an active role in enhancing public awareness about this crippling disease. He said that there is a need to work with national spirit to eradicate polio.

He mentioned that the provincial government is pursuing a comprehensive development plan and projects like Saaf Pani and Rural Sanitation have been started for well-being of people of rural areas.

Minister for Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education Khawaja Salman Rafiq directed that Human Resource Model and Micro Plan be revised in the districts that are vulnerable to polio virus.

Secretary Primary Health Ali Jan told the meeting that total eight polio cases including one in Punjab’s Lodhran district were reported in Pakistan in year 2017.

He said that Rs 100 billion would be spent for polio eradication in Punjab in next five years. He said that 1700 polio workers have been hired and 2300 more would be recruited to expedite anti-polio activities in the province.

Prime Minister’s Focal Person For Polio Eradication in Pakistan Ayesha Raza said that polio eradication tops government’s priorities. She said that year 2017 is historic regarding efforts to control polio. “Our children are not safe unless polio virus exists in Pakistan. Polio eradication is a mission which would be completed at all cost,” she remarked.

She also lauded Punjab Government’s efforts in polio eradication. The meeting was attended by Minister for Primary Health Khawaja Imran Nazir, Director General Health Services, representatives of international donor agencies and officers concerned whereas deputy commissioners joined the meeting through video link.

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