Pakistan

Health minister visits slums to monitor anti-polio campaign

ISLAMABAD: Minister for National Health Services Saira Afzal Tarar went door-to-door in Kachi Abadis (slum areas) in the outskirts of Islamabad to personally monitor the anti-polio campaign on second day of the three day nation-wide polio campaign.

The minister was accompanied by Prime Minister’s Focal Person for Polio Eradication Ayesha Raza Farooq and senior officers.

She went inside households in slum areas and spent time with mothers inquiring if their children had been vaccinated by the polio teams.

She inspected children out in the streets of the slums and checked finger marking of children as evidence of polio immunization.

The minister spoke to the polio teams and checked their tally sheets. She also advised polio teams to pay attention to guest children as there is a possibility that they are missed.

Visiting Mehrabadi a slum dwelling in Islamabad district, Saira Afzal Tarar directed that in addition to the polio drops Injectable Polio Vaccine must be given to the children to enhance their immunity against polio.

She also directed that each house including makeshift houses be properly marked with permanent markers to ensure each household is covered.

In her meetings with families, the health minister stressed upon them to get their children vaccinated against diseases saying the vaccination is being provided free of cost by the government for every Pakistani child against nine diseases and it was the responsibility of the parents to avail these services for the health and wellbeing of their children.

Saira Afzal Tarar said Mehar Jaffar, Bharakahu, Rawat, Koral Urban North, Koral Urban South, E-11 and F-11 were areas of concern and require special effort by the Islamabad Administration and health officials to further enhance performance in order to avert the risk of a polio case from these areas.

She took notice of gaps in provision of routine immunization services against 9 deadly diseases of children in the area and issued directions to ensure that every child is immunized without fail.

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