Ghulam Mursalin Marwat
LAKKI MARWAT: To eradicate polio is a national cause and it is responsibility of all concerned to make the district free from disease by accomplishing assigned task effectively. This was stated by deputy commissioner Jahangir Azam Wazir while presiding over a meeting of district polio eradication committee at his office the other day.
Among others additional DC Noorul Amin, Deputy DHO tribal subdivision Dr Shams, Dr Yousaf, LHW programme coordinator Dr Nisar, Dr Tariq Saleem Marwat, EPI coordinator Dr Kifayat Bettanni, district khateeb Maulana Abdul Wahab and officials of partner organisations were in attendance. The participants reviewed and finalized arrangements for upcoming anti polio drive commencing from Dec 10. Mr Wazir also directed health authorities to engage lady health workers and female teachers in coming campaign to ensure vaccination of targeted population.
A health official revealed at the meeting that environmental samples collected from Bannu had been tested positive for carrying poliovirus. “The circulation of poliovirus in neighbouring district cannot be ignored as it poses serious threat to the children in Lakki Marwat district, he added, saying that the targeted population of children in Lakki Marwat district was at risk as people travelled to Bannu on daily basis.
He stressed the need for ensuring immunisation of all children under the age of five against the crippling disease as one unvaccinated kid could pose a serious threat to the entire community. “The children will not be at risk if we ensured administration of anti polio vaccine to the targeted population including cent percent coverage of refusal and NA (not available) cases in the district”, he added. He also told the participants that residents in several localities linked vaccination of their kids with stoppage of electricity load shedding and solution of other problems.
The deputy commissioner made clear that the administration would not tolerate depriving children from vaccination against polio on the pretext of power outages or other problems. “The electricity related problem and kids’ immunisation against fatal disease causing lifelong paralyse are separate things and that the local residents should avoid linking them”, he warned, adding that those coaxing parents to refuse vaccination for solution of problems will face stern action.
He directed the officials of health department and partner organisations to hold community engagement sessions in rural and urban localities of the district so as to sensitise people about usefulness of anti polio vaccine for children. He warned that government officials involved in polio eradication campaign will face disciplinary action for showing negligence, slackness and dereliction.