- Pakistan National PolioPlus Committee chair conducted a Polio Orientation and Planning Workshop on April 30, 2016 at Avari Hotel, Lahore. The objective of the workshop was to encourage President Elect and Club Polio Committee chair Elect (2016 – 2017) of District 3272 to play an active role in the polio eradication program. The workshop was attended by 103 Rotarians of RD 3272.
The workshop was started with the recitation of Quranic Verses. District Governor (3272) Sajid Pervez Bhatti welcomed all Rotarians and distinguished guests. He elaborated the objectives of the workshop and showed his confidence that upcoming presidents will put more efforts to eradicate polio.
DGE Mir Arif Ali briefed participants of the role and responsibilities of newly elected presidents of Rotary Clubs. He stressed Rotary Clubs to increase their accessibility to polio partners and plan their strategies to end polio in their vicinities. He especially stressed Rotary Clubs working in southern Punjab to ensure vaccination to all children.
He also spoke on Routine Immunization and said that vaccines are the greatest health achievement in the 20th century. However, because of low routine immunization, children are more vulnerable to the polio virus. He urged Rotarians to get involved with health facilities and open more Permanent Immunization Centres (PIC) in hospitals and clinics to strengthen routine and make polio eradication their club’s signature project.
The formal proceedings of the workshop begin with the presentation of Aiden O’Leary Polio Chief UNICEF. Aidan emphasized over “Social Mobilization Strategies and Advocacy”, that aimed at 1) Strengthening Emergency Operations Centre structures and systems at all levels; 2) Shift the polio eradication paradigm from “children covered” to “continuously missed children” and 3)Place front line workers at the centre of the polio eradication effort”. He also spoke on an enabling environment of the care givers supporting OPV and the perception of community support. He briefed the audience on the importance of contact made by every vaccinator in the field and concluded the presentation with “Regardless of Scenario, Every Vaccination Campaign Comes down To a Single, Critical Touch Point: A Short Personal Interaction With A Vaccinator: Their Success is Our Success.
Dr. Salah Haithami, WHO highlighted the present scenario of polio cases in the country. He presented a comparison of polio cases with the last year in same time period. He said the polio cases dropped down to 95%. However there is a need to concentrate on mobile population. He briefed participants’ global, Pakistan polio update and discussed the challenges. He said the polio program in Pakistan is on track. We have now shifted from tOPV to bOPV from April 25th this year and moving towards end game.
Dr. Aslam Chudary, Coordinator EOC Punjab informed that there is no polio case in Punjab. He highlighted the working of polio partners under the umbrella of EOC. He thanked Rotary for providing re- furbished containers for establishing PTPs in Punjab. He elaborated the role of Rotary in planning, monitoring and communication in Punjab and appreciated the interest of Rotary teams in Punjab.
He said Punjab is facing two main challenges 1) Missed Children and 2) Migratory population. Focus is also being giving in the areas of southern Punjab and the areas where environmental samples are still positive.
CDG Rauf Rohaila, Zonal Coordinator KPK represented Khyberpakhtunkhawa province. He said both EOCs Khyberpakhtunkhawa and FAPTA are working closely for polio eradication. He highlighted the role of Rotarians in polio eradication in KPK and said there is no case from FATA this year whereas cases are from Sindh on rise. He said more challenges are from migratory population travelling from Afghanistan to Pakistan. He informed that as per recent decision of Government of Pakistan no Afghani will enter into Pakistan without passport. There is a need to strengthen polio transit post at Torkham border and he informed that Rotary is establishing two more PTPs at Bughiari (Landi Kotal) to cover all migratory children from Afghanistan.
Salman Ahmed, Polio Ambassador said that vaccinators are our front line workers and he dedicated his song to those polio workers. He also sung famous song to motivate audience and ensure his presence where ever needed.
National Chair, PNPPC Aziz Memon thanked all participants. He elaborated the role of new presidents of Rotary Clubs of the district in polio eradication. He stressed all Rotary Clubs to hold as many Health Camps to cover missed children. He added, we are not only focusing on polio but also to all other diseases like measles etc. He said we now reached to the stage where we shifted from tOPV to bOPV which is a sign of encouragement. We have commitment and dedication. He showed Speaking Book which is especially designed for teachers and parents to communicate Health Messages in urdu and pashtu languages. He elaborated its use for health awareness. He highlighted the role of Ulema to disseminate polio awareness messages. He said PNPPC is regularly conducting Ulema workshops leading by Ulema Committee chair Haji Hanif Tayyab in all cities. Rotary Clubs were requested to hold Ulema Workshops in their areas to involve local level religious people for the cause. He stressed Rotary Clubs to monitor PTPs at their own areas to ensure covering of children in transit.
Khawaja Salman Rafiq, Advisor to Health, Govt. of Punjab thanked Rotary for its efforts to make Pakistan a polio free country. He appreciated the role and commitment of Rotarians especially in Punjab for polio eradication. He added that the refurbished containers provided by the Rotary for PTPs are functioning well in Punjab and contributing a large to cover children in transit. He said the Government of Punjab is putting all efforts to get rid of vaccine related diseases and strengthening of Routine Immunization. He added that Post Campaign results of current NID showed good quality of vaccination and coverage, but still there is a need to give awareness regarding the importance of polio vaccination even to high income people living in urban areas to avoid misbehave with polio teams.
National Chair Aziz Memon thanked Khawaja Salman, Health Advisor Punjab for his valuable support to polio eradication initiatives in Punjab.
After the tea break, Breakout Sessions were started. Following three groups were made to prepare strategies to eradicate polio in their areas.
Group 1 led by DG Sajid Pervaiz Bhatti “ How to Involve Local Communities in Polio Eradication”
Group 2 led by PDG Saeed Shamsi “ How to Stop Virus Communication”
Group 3 led by DG CDG Rauf Rohaila “ How to Cover Missed Children”
In conclusion of the break out session, lunch was served.
The group participants made following recommendations;
Group 1 – Recommendations – DG Sajid Pervaiz Bhatti
- Need to create sense of responsibility among communities for Routine Immunization.
- More Coordination among Rotary Clubs and National PolioPlus Committee.
- More interaction between Rotary Clubs and District Polio team
d Involve schools, colleges and other civil society segments in Polio Eradication.
- Inolve local NGOs, local body electorials, religious person of communities
- Rotary Clubs initiate Polio Awareness campaigns in school and colleges
Group 2 – Recommendations – PDG Saeed Shamsi
- The President elect will appoint Chairman Club Polio Plus committee and shall report the names of Chairman and members of this committee to Chairman Polio Plus committee.
- This committee the will plan different Polio related activities more specifically Health Camps and these will be incorporated in Club Planning guide for the year 2016-17.
- Awareness programs regarding Misconceptions about Polio vaccines shall be organized in schools and different communities.
- President Elect will ensure to get name of Club Polio chair in DEPEC with DC and DHO.
- The Club Polio Plus chair must visit PPTP once in month, irrespective of which club has sponsored it.
- More cooperation with other agencies involved in Polio eradication
- Different clubs can join to form working groups to work jointly and more efficiently
- Some different angle must be now given to articles of social mobilizations
Group 3 – Recommendations – CDG Rauf Rohaila
- Role of a Rotary in the challenge of Polio Eradication in Pakistan was underlined.
- Contribution of Rotary Clubs to monitor PTPs in their jurisdictions
- Increase interaction with Health Department
- Rotaractors and Interactors can be usefully involved in polio eradication.
- Rotary Clubs may assist in providing female volunteers in deficient areas.
- Group recommended that provision of articles of social mobilization to Rotary Clubs and Rotarians should be through and in consultation with the club Presidents.
- Strengthening and support of PTPs may be considered.
- EPI centers should strengthen at all levels.
National Chair Aziz Memon concluded the findings of the groups and stressed new presidents to leave no stone behind to eradicate polio in their areas.
DGN Faiza Qamar paid thanks to distinguish guests, Rotarians for their active participation in the workshop.
Pakistan National Polio Plus Committee