QUETTA: The officials form Afghanistan and Pakistan have decided to improve the strategy in upcoming anti-polio drives to cover the neglected areas near Pak-Afghan border to ensure that every child crossing the border is vaccinated.
A delegation led by the coordinator of Balochistan’s Emergency Operation Centre (EOC), Dr. Syed Saif Ur Rehman, met Afghan polio team officials in Chaman led by Faizullah Kakar, the Afghan minister for public health.
The meeting was informed that over 14, 000 people daily cross the friendship gate on Pak-Afghan border with an average of 900 children below the age of five years.
“The average children covered daily by the available teams is around 600, which means we miss almost 300 children below five years daily,” the officials informed the meeting.
Unicef ‘s Communication Network (COMNet) officer Abdul Basit informed the meeting that about 13,000 refusal cases were reported from these areas in the past but after introduction of social mobilisers, the number of refusal cases has seen a sharp decline.
“The coverage is also improving with each campaign but efforts are still required for improving and maintaining the pace of progress,” said Abdul Basit.
The officials held a separate meeting with senior officials of Frontier Corps (FC) Balochistan in order to seek their help during immunisation campaigns.
EOC Coordinator Dr. Syed Saif Ur Rehman said the meeting was fruitful and either side of the officials vowed to do their best for the elimination of polio disease from the region.
The meeting decided that all teams at friendship gate in Chaman will be supervised by FC personnel and FC would cooperate with the teams.
The FC personnel will be given proper training for vaccinating the children at bordering areas.
“We will assure a 100 per cent coverage at friendship gate and villages near Pak-Afghan border as more teams are deployed on the mission who will frequently visit the areas ,” Dr. Syed Saif Ur Rehman told the reporters.
The Pakistan and Afghanistan will utilize the same Fatwa of internationally recognized religious scholars against the refusal cases. “
“The Islamic declarations on polio vaccine compiled by Pakistani officials was appreciated by Afghan counterparts,” Dr. Saif said.
Quetta Commissioner Kambar Dashti, Deputy Commissioner Killa Abdullah Khuda-e-Dad, Balochistan’s N-Stop Officer Dr. Aftab Kakar, Afghan officials Dr. Mohammed Essa, Dr. Sadaat and UNICEF and World Health Organisation (WHO) team leaders attended the meeting.
With Nigeria being declared polio-free back in September, Pakistan and its war-battered neighbour Afghanistan remain the only two countries where the disease is prevalent.
Sep 28, 2016 0
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