Inauguration of Shelter at Pak-Afghan border Torkham, FATAKhyberpakhtunkhawa
Rotary International’s Pakistan National PolioPlus Committee initiated the first polio shelter on April 10th‘ 2010 to target families with children crossing from Pakistan to Afghanistan and vice versa. The two shelters (one at Torkham in Pakistan and the other in Jalalabad in Afghanistan) were established to facilitate polio vaccination teams in inclement weather conditions as well as serve as a Permanent Transit Post (PTP). The purpose was to target missed children and those in transit. The shelter at the Torkham border was damaged and partly destroyed during firing across the border sometime in July 2016. The request to reinstate the shelter was made by the Government of Pakistan and WHO. It was important to reinstate the functions of the shelter, when Pakistan and Afghanistan are making good progress as the year draws to an end and coverage has significantly improved. This mutual cooperation between the two countries to eradicate polio is a positive sign that the Governments are committed and dedicated to end polio in 2016.
As per Rotary’s Pakistan National Polio Plus Committee strategy for intensified efforts to eradicate polio, Rotary has immediately took action on the request of EOC FATA and WHO to replace damaged shelter to continue functioning of polio vaccination at the border shelters.
A Rotary delegation comprised of National Chair Aziz Memon, CDG Rauf Rohaila, Salman Ahmed, Polio Ambassador, Azmat Hayat President Rotary Club Peshawar South, Rtn Khursheed Khan, Rtn.Tayyaba Gul, Rtn. Imran Gul, Rtn Badar Shah, Rtn Tahir Malik,Rtn Ghayur Sethi, Rtn Nowsherwan and Asher Ali Project Manager visited the Tokham border today; 23 August 2016 to inaugurate the Shelter for PTP at the border.
At the occasion Dr.Nadeem Jan EOC FATA BMGF Consultant, Dr. Tufail Ahmed HRMP, FATA, Dr. Sher Amin UNICEF, Dr. Mirwais Khan PEO Khyber Agency, Dr. Sajjad Rasool Assistant Commissioner Khyber Agency, Dr. Irfan Ellahi Focal Person FATA WHO, Dr. Sher Khan N-STOP Officer welcomed the Rotary delegation at Torkham border.
The Rotary delegation also met with the Afghan counterparts at the office of Assistant Political Agent Torkham who came there for cross border meeting for polio eradication. The Afghan delegation comprised of Dr. Naushad Akbar R-EOC, Fazaullah Yousufzai PEO,Dr. Farooq Mirza ARPO/WHO,Dr. Shamas ul Haq Barnuri BMGF, Laloon ER, EPI Consultant. The Afghan delegation informed that they are covering the area of Eastern Afghanistan including Nagarhar, Kunhar Nuristan provinces. During the meeting the delegations exchanged the views and committed to kick off polio from both countries and leaving no stone behind to cover each and every child vaccinated.
Soon after the meeting an inauguration ceremony of the Permanent Transit Post was held at the Shelter point. National Chair Aziz Memon inaugurated the shelter. He also met with the polio vaccinators and observed polio vaccination to the children coming and going from the post.
At the end Dr. Nadeem Jan paid thanks to Rotary for its continued support to FATA EOC and provision of shelters, umbrellas, water coolers, jackets, social mobilization material for polio vaccinators at different PTPs.
Report By : Asher Ali
Pakistan National Polio Plus Committee