Transit polio teams directed to stay vigilant during campaign

Over 13.5 mln children receive anti-polio drops

MULTAN, Nov 29 (APP): Punjab Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) Coordinator, Mr. Khizer Afzaal Chaudhary, instructed district health authorities to ensure that polio teams deployed at transit sites remain vigilant and fully engaged in coverage of children under five years of age and traveling with their parents or guardian.

He issued the instructions during a visit to Dera Ghazi Khan where he monitored polio eradication drive which is underway in nine districts of Punjab.

During his visit, Mr. Khizer visited Tehsil Headquarter Hospital of Taunsa tehsil, met polio teams in and around the hospital, and monitored the campaign at transit sites as well as in high-risk mobile population nomadic settlements.

“The district administration needs to ensure that most efficient and vigilant teams, well-versed in local languages, are deployed at transit sites. The teams need to ensure that they are not missing any child travelling with his or her parents or guardian. Vaccination of children at transit sites is critical to stop virus circulation”, head of the polio programme in Punjab said.

Mr Khizer checked data entry sheets of polio teams and urged all polio workers to ensure data is entered correctly.

Later, the EOC head visited nomadic settlement to check the vaccination status of children.

Mr Khizer personally checked fingers of children to verify if they have been vaccinated. He had a discussion with parents to verify their social details, origin and plans to move to the next destination, if any.

Vaccination of children who belong to nomadic populations are absolutely critical as they are the ones who are more vulnerable”, the EOC head underscored in his discussion with polio teams.

He pledged that Punjab will use all resources to eradicate polio. He directed the district health official to ensure that polio teams, especially those deployed at transit points are given adequate security during the campaign.

1.7 million children have been vaccinated in the ongoing campaign so far.

He called upon parents to continue their cooperation with the teams as long as virus was not eradicated from Pakistan and Afghanistan, its last strongholds.