Pakistan News & Features Services
Aziz Memon, Chair of the Pakistan Polio Plus Committee, and a member of International Polio Plus Committee, called on the Federal Minister for National Health Services Regulations and Coordination, Aamir Mehmood Kiani, in Islamabad on September 19.
Dr Salman Ahmed, a famous singer and activist, and Dr Asad Hafeez, Director General, Health, Government of Pakistan, were also present in the meeting.
The meeting was described as productive as the Federal Minister expressed his eagerness to keep pace with the momentum of progress Pakistan has made so far on polio.
Aziz Memon emphasized the need to improve Routine Immunization in Tier 3 and 4 as well as monitoring and surveillance as positive samples have been identified in Islamabad (ICT & CDA) and Rawalpindi.
He also informed that positive environmental samples continue to surface in Karachi’s Machhar colony and Gadap which was an alarming situation and the need to improve conditions of hygiene and sanitation was mandatory.
“The border areas are sensitive and it is crucial that every child is vaccinated due to the influx in transient population from Afghanistan. The cold chain management in Balochistan and Sindh needs attention,” Aziz Memon remarked.
He revealed that Rotary International has contributed US$1.8 billion since 1985 and more than US$200 million in Pakistan alone, to achieve polio eradication. This year alone Rotary announced US$96.5 million worldwide, inclusive of US$ 21.7 million for Pakistan.
He continued, to say that ‘’it would be a credit for this government when polio is eradicated during your tenure.”
He also spoke on the appointment of a Prime Minister’s Focal Person to lead the programme.
Aziz Memon emphasized, that the Focal Person must be close to the Prime Minister and plays a positive role and in addition he also urged the Minister to hold a PM Task Force meeting to keep an eye on urgent and important matters.
He inquired the Federal Health Minister if polio was in the Government’s 100-day agenda to which the Minister reassured and replied ‘it is on top of our agenda.
At the end the National Chair requested the Federal Health Minister to advise the Prime Minister to inaugurate the September NIDs in Islamabad and the President to inaugurate in Rawalpindi, and the four Chief Ministers to inaugurate the NIDs in their respective provinces.