Minister calls for redoubling polio immunisation efforts

* EPA seals 142 junkyards, 840 tyre shops under anti-dengue drive

ISLAMABAD/RAWALPINDI:  Minister of State for National Health Services, Regulation, and Coordination Saira Afzal Tarar has lauded the contribution of the Rotary Club in the eradication of polio virus from the country.Speaking with the participants of the Rotary Club Metropolitan Installation Ceremony, the minister said that successful implementation of any programme or public-private partnership is mandatory and the partnership of the government and the Rotary Club for the immunisation and eradication of the polio virus is the best example. She appreciated the Rotarians who have established health camps and EPI centres in many districts. She appealed them to start work for the IDPs who had left their homes and are living in an extremely challenging condition. The minister said that this is the high time to strengthen the EPI system of the country as weak and poor immunisation is the main cause and contributor of the spread of the polio virus in the country. "Whenever there is poor immunisation coverage, there is fear of rise in the polio virus and measles outbreaks," she said. Saira asked the Rotarians to extend their support in strengthening the immunisation programme in the country. She said that today with 90 reported polio cases and thousands of measles cases around the country is an alarm to redouble efforts to strengthen the immunisation system of the country. She said that today's era is the era of technology and the use of telecommunication to raise awareness about the EPI is one of the areas that need to be focused."There is no end to innovations and we need to develop innovative techniques and methodologies to improve the performance of our systems," she added.On the other hand, the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), under its ongoing anti-dengue drive, sealed 982 premises, including 840 tyre shops and 142 junkyards after finding them a potential hub for the dengue larva breeding during the last five months. While talking to the media personnel, District Officer Environment Mian Mohammed Nawaz informed that the EPA teams on the special directives of District Coordination Officer (DCO) Sajid Zafar Dall conducted special raids and inspected 2,840 premises, including 1,864 tyre shops, 855 junkyards, 37 under-construction sites, and 87 nurseries while over 1,500 premises inspected during the raids were declared safe. Nearly 700 shopkeepers were informed about the precautionary measures against dengue while over 7,000 awareness pamphlets were also distributed among the citizens. Under-construction sites, godowns, and other vulnerable places were inspected during the period and action was taken in accordance with the law against the violators. Final notices were also issued and the owners of the tyre shops and junkyards were directed to take solid steps to remove the stagnant water, otherwise strict action would be taken against them. During the inspection, he said that the EPA teams found no dengue larva but all possible measures were being taken to keep the surroundings clear of the dengue mosquito. He informed that the EPA removed stagnant water from a large number of dengue breeding sites. The EPA would continue to conduct such raids until the dengue mosquito is eliminated, he added.

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