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Polio threats alive as vaccinators disallowed from private schools, Red Zone.

ISLAMABAD, April 19, 2010 (Balochistan Times): Fearing the re-emergence of polio disease in the federal, the city fathers and health experts Monday expressed their serious concerns over the impediments being faced by polio vaccination teams while entering into the private educational institutes, high security zones as well as slums of the federal capital. They expressed their views in the maiden meeting of Polio Eradication Committee of Islamabad, constituted by the Chairman Capital Development Authority Imtiaz Inayat Elahi, on the pattern of all federating units, to bring onboard all stakeholders to ensure concerted efforts for citys deliverance from polio. The meeting was duly participated by the Country Director UNICEF Martin Mogwanja, Country Director Plan Haider Yaqoob, President ICCI, SSP Islamabad Traffic Police, representatives of WHO, health ministry, Rotary International and privates educational institutes. The meeting was held to review the arrangements of the upcoming three-day anti-polio drive scheduled to be held from April 26 to 28. Director Health Services of CDA Dr Hassan Arooj in his briefing to the committee highlighted the prevailing situation vis--vis polio and the problems confronting the vaccination teams while administering the polio drops to the infants. The meeting was told that due to security measures, Red Zone and some other high risk areas are inaccessible during the anti-polio drive and the teams need security especially in urban slums. Over the issue of refusal in schools, the representatives of the private schools said every private school pursues its own policy and suggested that every school has its own focal person to entertain the vaccinators. He informed the committee that even a chain of private schools has put a ban on any vaccination within the school premises while on the other hand some parents also ask the school administration not to let any one vaccinate their child. Representative of WHO told the meeting that Islamabad is at high risk of polio due to importation of IDPs, people from FATA and other areas, stressing to ensure that no child is missed from vaccine. He also suggested the dissemination of the message regarding polio vaccine to the students of public and private sector in the assembly time, otherwise it is feared that polio re-emerges in the federal capital. Chairman CDA, in his address, said the committee would meet on regular basis; however he complained about the poor management and lack of political commitment in the efforts to eradicate polio. He said the CDA looks forward the maximum cooperation from UN agencies and international organizations, adding that the Authority would keep focus on rural areas keeping a close liaison with ICT administration. He said for effective administration of polio drops, Islamabad has been divided into 14 zones, 74 area incharges have been designated besides 353 mobile teams which go to door to door for vaccination of children of below five years of age.

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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Date:Apr 19, 2010
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