Islamabad: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister and Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Polio Eradication Begum Shahnaz Wazir Ali has directed the District Administration and Health officials of Islamabad to further strengthen and enhance the surveillance and monitoring of measures taken for polio eradication in Islamabad and ensure that every child under the age of 5 is vaccinated with anti polio drops.
The directions were issued in a meeting held at the Chief Commissioner’s office Islamabad here on Thursday.
Dr. Tariq Fazal Chaudhary MNA NA-49 Islamabad, Senator Saeeda Iqbal, Senator Usman Saifullah Khan, Tariq Mahmood Peerzada Chief Commissioner Islamabad, Dr Altaf Bosan and officials of the World Health Organization (WHO) and district health attended the meeting.
Shahnaz Wazir Ali directed the CDA health officials to strictly follow the Augmented National Emergency Action Plan 2012 to ensure that a system of oversight and accountability is in place. She asked for constitution of District Polio Eradication Committee and Union Council Polio Eradication Committee to ensure that all stakeholders support the polio initiative. On this occasion the public representative from Islamabad pledge all out support in efforts to reach every child in and around Islamabad Capital Territory.
Discussing the difficulties, the participants said parental refusals, unavailability of children and most importantly, refusal of private schools to allow polio teams to enter their premises, were major bottlenecks.
It may be worth mentioning here that the overall average coverage of the polio drive in Islamabad was recorded below 95%, with December 2011 showing coverage of 40%, while the highest average was recorded as 85% in March 2011.
Briefing the participants on the implementation strategy of the recently held campaign, ICT officials informed that 12 union councils in rural Islamabad were dealt with by 278 mobile polio teams, 36 fixed centers and 19 transit polio teams.
Urban Islamabad, on the other hand, was divided into 14 zones for which 534 polio teams were constituted. Of these 375 were mobile teams, 107 were fixed and 52 were transit teams. Campaign coverage in ICT rural and urban stood at 110.91% and 116.35%, respectively.
Overall, the polio campaign targeted a population of 244,524 out of a total population of 227,000. As such, the coverage achieved by polio teams in Islamabad in the last polio campaigns stood at 118.60%.
ICT officials said that they have taken numerous key initiatives and monitoring measures for better results.
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