Force of law to help polio vaccination
RAWALPINDI, July 10: Local health authorities have suggested to the district coordination officer (DCO) to impose Section 144 in the city for the duration of polio vaccination campaign.
A meeting of health officials was told that this would help the vaccinators dissuade the citizens refusing anti-polio vaccine to their children during the campaign starting on July 16.
More that 1,000 children could not be administered polio drops during last month’s campaign because of resistance from their parents.
The meeting, held at the district health department offices with Dr Aslam Chaudhry, incharge Punjab Polio Campaign, was attended by Executive District Officer (Health) Dr Zafar Iqbal Gondal and other senior health officials.
During the meeting, the education department provided a list of 200 teachers to perform duties during the polio campaign.
However, on the request of the health officials for 400 teachers, the education department promised that the remaining teachers would be provided soon.
The health department officials suggested that the education department should assign the duties of these teachers on a permanent basis as it faced difficulties to provide training to the teachers before every campaign. But the education department turned down the proposal saying it was not possible.
It was decided that polio teams would be formed for the 76 union councils of the urban areas which would be led by government officials to make the teams accountable.
The health department informed the meeting that 10 union councils including Ratta Amral, Pirwadhai, Ziaul Haq Colony, Dhoke Hassu, Dhoke Mangtal, two wards in cantonment areas – Peshawar Road and adjoining areas – and the union councils of Jala and Sarai Kala in Taxila were vulnerable as there was frequent movement of people from Khyber Pukhtunkhwa.
Executive District Officer (Health) Dr Zafar Iqbal Gondal informed the meeting that the campaign in these areas would be launched to provide additional dose of polio vaccination to the children.
“Luckily, the number of high risk areas in the city is declining as earlier 22 union councils were declared high risk,” he said.
He said migration of people from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was responsible for the spread of polio virus and said the KP government had failed to launch proper anti-polio campaigns in the province, endangering the lives of people in other areas.