All efforts underway to make 2018 polio-free: minister

  • Health minister inaugurates anti-polio campaign in Lahore

  • Announces launching anti-polio campaign in eight sensitive districts from March 12


LAHORE: Minister for Primary and Secondary Health Khawaja Imran Nazir on Saturday said that all efforts would be made and all resources would be utilised to make 2018 a polio-free year.

He said that polio workers were visiting every house to administer polio drops to the children in a bid to ensure a healthy future and to prevent the children from a lifelong disability. “Therefore, the people should cooperate with the polio teams visiting them,” he added.

“It is not only a national responsibility of the parents but also the right of the children to get vaccinated against polio,” he said while talking to the media persons after inaugurating the anti-polio campaign in the Afghan Basti near Saggian Bridge in Union Council (UC) 83.

He said that a special five-day anti-polio campaign would be launched from March 12 in eight sensitive districts of the province that included Lahore, Multan, Rawalpindi, Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffargarh, Rajanpur, Rahim Yar Khan and Sheikhupura. Imran also said that almost 7 million children under the age of five would be vaccinated against polio for which 17,000 polio teams had been constituted.

The minister said that in Lahore alone more than 1.7 million children would be vaccinated against poliovirus for which 4,100 teams would be performing their duties. While appreciating the performance of the Lahore District Health Authority, the minister said that due to the tireless efforts of the officers, polio environment samples of Lahore were now negative, which he said, was a big achievement.

Imran disclosed that the Primary and Secondary Health Department had sent a summary to the Punjab chief minister for regularising the contractual dengue workers and the workers would soon receive good news. He said that during the special anti-dengue campaign, the backward and less-developed localities in the suburb areas of the cities would be focused where the awareness level was low or the people were illiterate.

The minister said that the polio campaign was inaugurated in the Afghan Basti area as people visited it from other provinces especially Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) on a daily basis. “The main purpose of launching the campaign from this area is to ensure vaccination of every child including those migrating from other places,” said Imran while adding that the department had selected Pashto speaking staff for such localities to ensure easy communication with the families.

Lord Mayor Mubashar Javed and Deputy Commissioner Sumair Ahmed Syed at the occasion also administered polio drops to the children. Health CEO Dr Yadullah, officers of the department and local Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) workers from UC-83 were also present.