The continuous community protected vaccination (CCPV) initiative has been appreciated by United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) Chief for Polio Aidan O’Leary. He has said the initiative helped in drastically reducing cases of poliovirus in the province.
He said this during a meeting on polio eradication. It was held at Emergency Operations Center (EOC), Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on Friday, said a health department official.
The official also quoted O’Leary as saying the vaccination is paying off as the coverage of missed children in K-P has improved during the September and October rounds of the polio drive. The official requested anonymity as he was not authorised to talk to the media.
For a better future
Also present on the occasion, Minister for Health Shahram Khan Tarakai asked all stakeholders, working for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, to identify issues that come in the way of polio eradication.
According to one participant at the meeting, “If Nigeria can do it then why can’t we?” asked Tarakai. “If all the necessities are available then what are the hurdles in achieving the desired goals?” he was quoted as saying.
He, however, appreciated the marked improvement in the tracking and coverage of missed children, and declining number of those who previously refused to administer polio drops to their children.
Tarakai called upon the partners to give technical assistance to the government in areas where the number of missed children was high, added the official. He asked the relevant government departments to cooperate with the technical partners and resolve issues identified by the latter.
The minister suggested high-risk districts and those performing well should have a joint meeting so the latter can share best practices with the former.
Around 1,500 women were appointed for CCPV drives for 67 high-risk union councils across the province. The UCs include 50 from Peshawar district, 11 from Tank and six from Bannu. The women will work throughout the month to inoculate children against the crippling virus.
Earlier, Polio Technical Advisory Group Chairman Jean Marc lauded the measures taken by the government to ensure security to frontline workers where at the same time informed their endeavours have reduced the number of polio cases in K-P and the tribal areas.
K-P has reported 15 cases of the poliovirus in 2015 whereas Fata has 11.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 17th, 2015.