LAHORE– The Secretary of Health – Government of Punjab – Mr. Jawad Rafique Malik stated that; Strengthening of routine immunization under EPI programme is essential to eradicate communicable diseases especially polio. Anti-measles campaign will be launched in Punjab from January 26 to February 9 during which 28.8 million children of six months to 10 years of age will be inoculated.
According to media reports the secretary health was chairing the monthly meeting of executive district officers (health) at the Directorate General Health Punjab. Health DG – Dr Zahid Pervaiz, representatives of WHO, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID, UNICEF, Directors of different health programmes and officers of Punjab Health Roadmap attended the meeting.
The health secretary directed the officers to focus on routine immunization coverage to save the children from communicable diseases. He said that implementation of reward and punishment system has been started in the department. He said that officers will be awarded and encouraged on their good performance while action will be taken against inefficient officers.
Health DG Dr Zahid Pervaiz advised the officers to ensure availability of anti-reaction medicines with each vaccination team during anti-measles campaign so that if anti-dote could be injected in case of reaction.
He directed that advocacy and awareness seminars regarding anti-measles campaign be organized at tehsil level from January 22. In this connection; publicity material, posters, banners and pamphlets have also been provided to all districts. Moreover, a Provincial Measles Conference will be held at Alhamra on January 24. Health Secretary Jawad Rafique Malik directed that necessary training of vaccinators/injectors should be completed in time and no untrained official should be included in the vaccination team.
It was also informed that 3-day National Immunisation Campaign against polio would also be launched in Punjab from January 12 to 14 for which all arrangements have been completed. Secretary Health directed that 100 percent achievement of the targets of anti-polio campaign be ensured. He further directed that EDOs Health should keep a close liaison with their respective DCOs and DPOs for providing security to the polio teams. Jawad Rafique said that Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has issued directions to IG Punjab for ensuring foolproof security to the polio teams during the campaign and DCOs/DPOs and bound to provide security to them. The districts showing poor performance in routine immunization were also pointed out in the meeting upon which Secretary Health asked the officers to explain their position in this regard. Secretary Health issued strict directions to the officers showing average performance to improve their efficiency.
The meeting also took stock of the performance of district and tehsil headquarters hospitals and health centres with regard to the attendance of doctors, paramedics, availability of medicines and vaccines. The meeting was also informed about the performance of 13 districts where the pilot project of Vaccine Logistic Information Management System (VLIMS) has been launched with the help of USAID. Secretary Health directed the officers to ensure implementation of Chief Minister’s Health Roadmap for the uplift of health delivery system in the province.