LAHORE: Chief Secretary Naveed Akram Cheema has said that no polio case has been reported in Punjab Province in 2014, which reflects good performance and hard work of government departments.
Presiding over a meeting to review the action plan for polio eradication on Tuesday, he directed all of the district coordination officers (DCOs) and officers of the Health Department to continue their efforts to make and keep Punjab a polio-free province.
State Minister for Health Saira Afzal Tarar, Prime Minister’s Focal Person for Polio Ayesha Raza Farooq, Chief Minister’s Adviser on Health Khawaja Salman Rafiq, Health Secretary Dr Ijaz Munir, DCOs and representatives of WHO, UNICEF, Rotary Club and Melinda Gates Foundation attended the meeting.
Secretary Dr Munir said that eight polio cases had been reported in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 44 in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and four in Sindh Province during 2014. He said that additional technical support had been provided to Lahore and Rawalpindi districts and officials of allied departments had also been engaged for administering polio drops at permanent checkpoints set up at border districts where over 70,000 children had been vaccinated.
Chief Secretary Cheema said that all departments and their officials would have to continue their tireless efforts till the complete eradication of polio.
Appreciating the efforts of the Punjab government in polio eradication, State Minister Saira Afzal Tarar said that polio vaccine was very precious and that maximum use of vaccine must be ensured to control its wastage.
Focal Person on Polio Ayesha Raza Farooq said that though Punjab was a model province in launching vigorous campaign against polio, more efforts were required to completely eradicate the disease.
Adviser Salman Rafiq said that Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif was very much committed to making Punjab a model province in connection with provision of health care and control of diseases. He said that polio teams should focus on administering drops in Afghan refugees’ camps and Pashtun localities for complete eradication of polio.
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