Additional Chief Secretary Dr Shehzad Bangash Friday calls for accelerating efforts for polio during a meeting held here to review efforts by all relevant departments in this regard.
He said “Polio eradication is top priority and will remain so therefore all the line departments, law enforcing agencies, commissioners and deputy commissioners have to play active role and contribute their part in successful campaigns for polio eradication in the region.”
He said “there is need for upscaling the efforts by all relevant departments especially Information department, Home department and Local Government Department. He directed commissioners and deputy commissioners to lead polio eradication activities in respective districts and fully engage staff of all relevant government departments at district level.
He also directed secretary home to ensure the coordination mechanism proposed by Coordinator Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at divisional and district level before every campaign.
Additional Chief Secretary Dr. Shehzad Bangash thanked national and international partners including BMGF, WHO and UNICEF and NSTOP for providing technical support in the fight against the polio virus.
He added that polio program faces new challenges in the form of propagandas and refusals that is often exploited by miscreants.
He said communication is highly specialized field and plays key role in tackling such propagandas and removing misconceptions of caregivers/parents.
He directed all Deputy Commissioners to ensure establishment of crisis management cells during polio campaigns and lead implementation of communication activities at district level.
On the occasion, Coordinator National Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Dr. Malik Shafi appreciated diligent efforts of Provincial EOC against polio and advised for strong monitoring at district level and implementation of few but high-quality campaigns.
He said focus must be at oversight, management and accountability to improve the quality of campaign for better results.
WHO Team Lead Dr. Abdi Hussain appreciated efforts of Commissioners and DCs at district level and suggested to intimate all major staff and highest leadership to support Bannu and DIKhan divisions in the upcoming case response campaign.
Earlier, Coordinator Emergency Operations Center Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Capt (R) Kamran Ahmad Afridi presented recent facts and figures of polio program efforts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He updated participants about operational and status of polio campaigns as well as security situation, other challenges faced and way forward.
Meeting was also attended by Secretary Health, Secretary Home, Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners from all districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, representatives of WHO, UNICEF, BMGF and other relevant officials.