Lahore-Punjab Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Coordinator and Polio Program Head Ms. Syedah Ramallah called for greater focus on the high-risk mobile population to ensure that every vulnerable child receives the crucial polio vaccine on time.
The Coordinator said these things during an exchange of views with the District Commissioners of Attock and Rawalpindi on Wednesday.
The head of the polio program embarked on the first leg of his mission on Wednesday.
After meeting senior officials at Attock, the Coordinator went to Rawalpindi on the same day to meet senior officials of the Administration and Health Departments. Polio eradication partners and district health management officials were also present in the meeting.
The EOC coordinator emphasizes vaccination, profiling and mapping of high-risk mobile populations.
“Profiling, registration and vaccination of communities belonging to vulnerable mobile groups need to be reconfirmed before the next campaign”, Ms. Ramallah directed.
“The district has persistent data quality as well as micro-plan issues that need to be fixed. Areas located across provincial boundaries within Punjab must ensure that all households are accounted for and no child is left out of the micro-plan”, emphasized the EOC coordinator.
The head of the polio program expressed concern about Hazro tehsil and urged the district to focus on these remote areas.
In the meeting, Deputy Commissioner Hasan Walker Cheema assured the coordinator that the micro-plan would be fixed before October 15.
DC sought the help of the Polio Program to sensitize the community on polio eradication through various media platforms.
District health officials present on the occasion assured to address data quality issues.
“If there are any persistent problems the district will fix them immediately. Strict action will be taken if the accuracy of the data is found to be questionable”, assured district health administration officials.
Later in the day the EOC coordinator went to Rawalpindi and chaired a meeting with the health management team along with DC Tahir Javed.
The coordinator urged health department officials to be extra vigilant as the virus continues to circulate in Rawalpindi.
“We have learned from experience that virus transmission is intense and rapid in large cities. So mega districts are more vulnerable”, said Ms. Ramalla.
The Coordinator expressed concern over the large number of missing children and urged the health authorities to conduct registration and profiling of such children.
The EOC coordinator urged the district to focus on rejected and persistently missed children and added that polio workers should also strengthen the necessary immunizations.
“Improving essential immunizations will have a very positive impact on polio eradication efforts”, the coordinator said.
Stressing the need to sensitize parents about polio eradication efforts, Mrs. Ramallah urged the district health authorities to reach out to parents through school administrations.
The district administration assured the coordinator to take every step to sensitize the parents. The district health team has assured the coordinator to deploy teams at the exit points at bus stations to vaccinate children and prevent the spread of polio virus.
The EOC assured the district of all possible cooperation.