LAHORE - As many as eight million children of up to five years of age will be administered polio vaccine in 12 districts of Punjab during campaign starting from Monday (May 7).

“Due to virus circulation in KPK, Balochistan and Sindh, the government has decided to hold campaign in the districts close to borders and cities with huge population movement from the polio-affected areas”, said Minister for Primary and Secondary Healthcare Kh Imran Nazir. The districts include Lahore, Sheikhupura, DG Khan, Multan, Muzaffargarh, Rajanpur, RY Khan, Layyah, Bhakkar, Mianwali, Rawalpindi and Attock.

Secretary P&SH Ali Jan Khan urged parents to vaccinate their children during the five-day campaign. “The oral polio vaccine is safe and effective and has been used to eradicate polio in almost every country in the world,” he said.

Punjab completed 2016 without a polio case. But a four-month child from Lodhran ended Punjab’s streak of 14 months without a case in 2017. In 2018, no polio case has been reported in Punjab. Since 2014 there has been an overall 97% reduction in polio cases in Pakistan: from 306 cases in 2014 to 8 in 2017. This year only one polio case has been reported from Balochistan. Globally, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria are the three countries still having polio cases.

Meanwhile, The Punjab Healthcare Commission has closed down another 151 fake treatment centres of quacks.

The action was carried out in different areas of 12 districts, that is, Faisalabad, Muzaffargarh, Jhang, Jhelum, Khanewal, Mianwali, Chakwal, Okara, Rajanpur, Sargodha and Lahore. The PHC teams are being accompanied by officials of the district administration and police.

On Friday, the PHC teams had visited 345 treatment centres, and closed down 151 businesses, which were being run by quacks. Out of the total centres visited in accordance with the census, 62 quacks were found to have changed their businesses now after quitting quackery.

Address through video link meeting

Minister for Specialized Healthcare & Medical Education Kh Salman Rafiq has said that 4700 nurses recruited through Punjab Public Service Commission would soon join duty.

Addressing the video link conference of heads of medical educational institutions and the teaching hospitals on Friday, he said that induction of nurses would help improving service delivery at hospitals. Secretary SH&ME Najan Ahmed Shah and Special Secretary Usman Moazzam attended the meeting. Heads of institutions apprised the meeting about arrangements of drinking water for patients and attendants. The meeting also reviewed availability and provision of free medicines and infection control arrangements.

Najam Ahmed Shah said that the department has sent requisition to PPSC for recruitment of medical officers/women medical officers.