Pakistan National Polio Plus Committee chair conducted a Polio Orientation and Planning Workshop on April 23, 2016 at MovenPick Hotel, Karachi. The objective of the workshop was to encourage President Elect and Club Polio Committee chair Elect (2016 – 2017) of District 3271 to play an active role in the polio eradication program.
The workshop was started with the recitation of Quranic Verses. District Governor Elect (3271) Saleem Rao welcomed all Rotarians and distinguished guests The Governor Elect thanked the National Chair for his relentless effort and commitment toward the cause of eradication of polio.
The formal proceedings of the workshop begin with the presentation of Aiden O’Leary Poilo 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. Sbih Malek, 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 on High Risk Mobile Population (HRMP) and described the international and inter provincial routes of migratory population from Afghanistan to Pakistan.
DGN Ovais Kohari 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 briefed the participants on the Operational Components of the Immunization System, elaborating on each one of the component: 1) Vaccine Supply 2) Logistics 3) Surveillance 4) Advocacy & Communication and 5) Service Delivery. He laid emphasis on six key components of the EPI: planning, management, coordination, supervision, training and finance and described it as the ‘Glue’ for success in every campaign. 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.
DGE Saleem Rao 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 that are working in rural areas of interior Sindh to ensure vaccination to all children.
Dr. Saif ur Rehman, Coordinator EOC Balochistan gave a brief on progress made in Balochistan with special focus on Quetta Block. He showed increased coverage of routine vaccination in Killa Abdullah, Pashin and Quetta during last four quarters. He pointed out, district Killa Abdullah has many challenges because of its geographical proximity to Afghan border. He also gave a brief presentation on Rotary interventions in Balochistan. Dr. Saif thanked Rotary for establishing a new two rooms Permanent Transit Post at Friendship Gate Chaman (Pak Afghan border). He said the PTP will facilitate cross border meetings with afghan counterparts.
Dr. Omer Baloch Secretary Health, Balochistan gave the overall scenario of routine immunization in his province. He said that all districts of Balochistan are well covered with routine immunization except Killa Abdullah and Pashin because of their boundaries with Afghanistan and migration through these two districts. He said Government of Balochistan putting all efforts to eradicate polio by extending EPI in these two districts.
Haji Mohammed Hanif Tayyab – Chair, Polio Ulema Committee, PPPC condemned the killing of seven policeman during the recent NID. He said the sacrifice of slain policeman has given us more strength and courage to fight battle against polio.
He highlighted the “Islamabad Declaration” and Fatwas for responsible parenthood. He said Ulemas are instrumental in convincing people of the misconceptions and myths of polio vaccine and bringing down refusals. They mobilize communities through mosques and madrassa. He said, the holy month of Ramzan is near and provide good opportunity to all religious leaders to communicate polio eradication messages to communities of their areas at different interval of times.
DGN 2 Irfan Qureshi spoke on Rotary’s contribution to eradicate polio globally.
A shield was first cited by DGN 2 Irfan Qureshi and Begum Shahnaz Wazir Ali presented it to Haji Hanif Tayyab on behalf of National PolioPlus Committee in recognition of his services for polio eradication. All the Guest Speakers, PDGs, DG, DGE, and DGN participated in honoring him.
National Chair Aziz Memon introduced Salman Ahmed as polio Ambassador. Salman Ahmed showed his commitment to spread polio eradication messages to all sections of civil society in Pakistan.
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 informed Rotary Polio High Risk Focus Committees are working closely with EOC and Commissioner’s Task force to support polio eradication initiatives in Sukkur and Larkana as well. 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 informed that as polio plus, Rotary is working closely to other partners like Coca Cola Beverages Ltd, who had provided RO Water Filtration Plant for Malir where 20,000 population getting benefit of clean drinking water and now Coca Cola is providing seven Solar Water Filtration Plants for polio high risk areas.
He highly condemned killing of policeman who were performing duty with polio teams during SNID.
Begum Shahnaz Wazir Ali, Coordinator Oversight committee, Health Government of Sindh seconds Haji Hanif suggestion to utilize the month of Ramzan to disseminate messages at key timings for polio eradication through community level religious leaders. She appreciated working of EOC Sindh and EOC Balochistan. She said Dr. Saif made tremendous achievements in Balochistan and we are hopeful that all missed children and migratory population will be covered in coming months. She said there are still few challenges like political commitment, geographical accessibility in some areas of Balochistan and reaching to children in posh areas of Karachi etc. She said we can attain our goal once we reach to every child at every household.
National Chair Aziz Memon requested Chair Ulema Committee Haji Hanif Tayyab to offer prayers (Fateha) for slain policeman. All participants followed prayers and paid salute to those who lost their lives in the battle of polio eradication.
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 PP Masood Bhalli
Group 2 led by PP Pardeep Kumar
Group 3 led by PP Dr. Hanif Khilji
In conclusion of the break out session, lunch was served.
The group participants made following recommendations;
Group 1 – Recommendations – PP Masood Bhali
- Role of a Rotary in the challenge of Polio Eradication in Pakistan was underlined.
- Contribution of Rotary Clubs in their areas for Polio eradication.
- Increase interaction with Health Department
- Rotaractors and Interactors can be usefully involved in polio eradication.
- Role of Health Camps and procedure for assistance from Polio plus was brought out with clarifications in answer to points raised by participants. It was good to see clear understanding of the matter.
- 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.
- Areas without electricity such as desert of Tharparkar may be provided with solar refrigerators at vaccine centers.
- Strengthening and support of PTPs may be considered.
- EPI centers should strengthen at all levels
- A Rotarian may be nominated. President may request to DCs and ACs to include a Rotarian in the committees if not done.
Group 2 Recommendations PP Dr. Pardeep Kumar
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 PP Dr. Hanif Khilji
- Need to create sense of responsibility among communities for Routine Immunization.
- More Coordination among Rotary Clubs and National Polio Plus Committee.
- More interaction between Rotary Clubs and District Polio team.
- Ensure attendance in DPEC.
- Government also involve Rotary Clubs in their activities.
- Rotary Clubs initiate Polio Awareness campaigns in school and colleges
Speech by the Commissioner Karachi
Syed Asif Ali Shah, Commissioner Karachi, Chair Karachi Task Force was extremely busy visiting the hospitals and measuring the forecast heat waves, and we are extremely thankful that he took out time to attend this important Polio Orientation Workshop in the afternoon.
He attended the concluding session. He said Rotary Clubs are playing important role in polio eradication at all levels. He appreciated National Chair Aziz Memon for his extra ordinary efforts to make Pakistan a Polio free country. He appreciated the role Rotary Polio High Risk Committee and extended his full cooperation with all Rotary Clubs.
He emphasized on building the trust for successful campaigning of Polio Eradication efforts throughout the country. He asked Rotary to give in their cooperation during the heat waves, literacy camps, and water hand pumps.
District Governor Jehangir Mughal concluded the session and paid thank to all participants especially Secretary Health and EOC Coordinator Balochistan who came from Quetta to show their prosperity and commitment with polio eradication.
Pakistan National Polio Plus Committee