LAHORE - Canadian First Secretary (Development) Kiril Lordanov has acknowledged the efforts of Punjab in polio eradication and urged other provinces to follow the Punjab model of the Emergency Operations Centre, which serves as a platform for increased synergy with routine immunisation.

He acknowledged this during his visit the Punjab Emergency Operations Centre, Directorate General Health Services, to review polio eradication efforts against the backdrop of Punjab’s first polio case of the year in Lodhran.

 “The model at the Punjab EOC is an example for other provinces as it is sustainable, having multiplier effect for the health system to carry the gains,” Lordanov said.

Punjab EOC coordinator Dr Munir Ahmed briefed the visiting official about the efforts of Punjab in the wake of polio case in Lodhran.

“Three Case Responses has been planned in districts adjoining Lodhran. One Case response has been carried out successfully while two are being held in March coinciding with the SNID,” said Dr Munir.

“Orphan virus roaming around in Punjab poses main challenge to the province’s polio eradication efforts. Special emphasis will be laid on the populations moving in and out of Punjab in the campaigns,” said the EOC coordinator. 

When asked the EOC coordinator emphasized that an inter-provincial strategy is followed to coordinate polio eradication campaigns all over the country to eradicate virus so that it does not affect children.

“The affected child lived in an isolated village lacking basic facilities. The house was located away from the highway. Probably the father who was a small trader brought the virus from some other area which affected the unfortunate child,” said Dr Munir.

The visiting secretary discussed with Punjab the provincial needs vis-à-vis polio eradication, community based vaccination as well as provincial efforts to arrange injectable polio vaccine.

He was informed that Punjab had formed a strategy to meet the shortage of IPV so that maximum children in vulnerable union councils could be given adequate protection against the polio virus.

Mr Kiril was informed that acceptance of polio vaccine was highest in Punjab and it was focusing on missed children to ensure that the province remained polio free.