Polio campaign to be carried out in 10 district of Punjab

An Afghan child looks on as a health worker administers polio vaccine on the second day of a vaccination campaign in Kabul on March 15, 2010. A three-day nationwide polio eradication signature project is a joint initiative implemented by the Public Health Ministry, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organiztion (WHO). Afghanistan is one of only of a handful of countries in the world that still has the crippling polio virus with new cases reported every year. UPI/Hossein Fatemi

LAHORE: Punjab will hold a polio campaign in 10 districts from October 30 to November 3, said Minister for Primary and Secondary Healthcare Khawaja Imran Nazir here on Friday.

Khawaja Imran said that the campaign is part of the Sub National Immunization Day and will focus on children in selected 10 districts deemed to be at greater risk to polio virus transmission. These districts include Lahore, Multan, Rawalpindi, Bhakkar, Sheikhupura, Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffargarh, Rajanpur, Rahim Yar Khan and Mianwali. He said that directives have been issued to these districts to complete the necessary arrangements. He further said that the provincial Emergency Operations Centre has made close coordination with these districts to ensure timely micro-planning, mapping of high risk mobile population and vaccine supply.

Primary and Secondary Healthcare Secretary Ali Jan Khan said that the campaign will target over 7.26 million children below five years. He said that polio has been declared a national emergency and at district level, respective DCs are taking complete ownership of polio eradication efforts.

Coordinator of the Emergency Operations Centre, which has been set up to eradicate polio, said that a total of 18,414 teams will perform their duties in the campaign which include over 15,000 mobile teams, 1,572 fixed and over 926 transit teams. He said special focus has been laid on the movement of the population at inter-provincial borders, especially those coming from the areas having polio virus circulation.


In a separate development, Punjab Minister for Specialized Healthcare & Medical Education Department Khawaja Salman Rafique has said that the government is taking new initiatives to provide the best healthcare facilities to the people and for this purpose new hospitals under public private partnership (PPP) would be constructed in the province. The first hospital of such kind would be constructed in Johar Town area, he said.

He stated this while addressing a road show arranged by Punjab Health Initiative Management Company (PHIMC) at a local hotel to disseminate information and to sensitise national as well as international firms and consortiums interested in setting up the hospital under PPP mode in Lahore.

Salman Rafique said that during the last 4-5 years, a number of new hospitals, specialised institutions and burn units have been constructed across the province and capacity of the existing hospitals have also been enhanced by adding new blocks. The minister said that revamping of all the DHQ hospitals is also being carried out. He said that construction of new hospitals under PPP mode would bring a revolution in the health sector in Pakistan.