Trustee National Chair Aziz Memon facilitated a Rotaract Interactive meeting with key Rotaractors of RI District 3271 on Saturday, 20th March 2021 at 6.00 pm in Nargis Hall, Movenpick Hotel, Karachi.
District Rotaract Representative (DRR) Iqra Sajjad and a group of 20 Rotaractors attended the meeting. The meeting was also attended by DRC Raza Tabish, DGE Aftab Imam, PDG Irfan Qureshi, Zonal Coordinator, Sindh Masood Bhalli, PP Muhammad Ovais – Coordinator, Polio Ulema Committee, PP Iqbal Ali Alavi & Jazmine Vania – Communications Officer, PNPPC.
The meeting started with the recitation of Tilawat from the Holy Quran.
Trustee/National Chair Aziz Memon welcomed all the participants. The Rotaractors introduced themselves after the welcome.
Points shared by the Rotary leaders:
National Chair Aziz Memon said Rotaractors play a very important role in Rotary and they are our future leaders.
The participants were informed that the next NIDs were scheduled on the 29th of March to 4th of April. We have to be very vigilant during this March NIDs as it is the last NID in the low transmission season.
He also mentioned that we have passed almost 9 months without a case of polio in Sindh & Khyber Pakhtunkhwa including Bannu. In Punjab, there has been no case of polio for the past 5 months and no case of polio in Balochistan since 55 days.
The National Chair spoke on his recent visit to Quetta and meeting with Balochistan's Chief Secretary, Health Secretary Commissioner Quetta Division, EOC Coordinator and Administrator Quetta. He said the discussion highlighted the situation in Killa Abdullah Balochistan
In view of the findings of the Quetta visit, a zoom meeting was arranged by him on 15th March 2021 to bring together key stakeholders in resolving issues in Balochistan. The meeting was attended by Noor ul Haq Baloch - Health Secretary Balochistan, Dr. Shahzad Asif Baig - NEOC Coordinator, Dr. Kamal Soomro - NSTOP, Dr. Altaf Bosan – Technical Focal Person BMGF, Dr. Akram Sultan – Lead EPI, Rashid Razzak – Coordinator EOC Balochistan, WHO TL Dr. Zainul Abdeen, Saleem Raza - Zonal Coordinator Balochistan. He said 'we had a long discussion on the way forward and how to get rid of positive samples in Killa Abdullah.' All participants pledged their full commitment to the polio program
Balochistan – Killa Abdullah is an area of focus, He said the discussion highlighted the situation in Killa Abdullah Balochistan. The routine is very low, despite a population of 128,000 which may be due to limited outreach in the UCs of Gulistan 1 & 2 of the district.
A Task Force meeting is held before NIDs. KPK meeting has been held while the Sindh Task Force is scheduled in the coming week, which will be Chaired by the Chief Secretary of the respective province.
District Governor-Elect Aftab Imam said that we need to focus on where we are still getting the positive environmental samples. We cannot cover the whole population and for that, we need to target tribal heads, MNA, MPA, AC and DC of the particular areas who are very important people and they can help us with refusals and how to cover them.
We should focus more on the troubled areas (high risk) of the provinces.
District Rotaract Representative Iqra Sajjad mentioned the role of Rotaractors in the polio program. She said that clubs have been doing polio awareness sessions in different schools, polio awareness walk, and different activities to energize clubs. The awareness sessions were also held virtually by Rotaractors in this year and have also gone door to door to create awareness of polio. Medical camp was held in the month of December in Orangi Town, we also took the lady health workers on board.
Rotaractors role should be more progressive and proactive regarding the work on polio. She said 'we are also ready to face ground challenges and work together to eradicate polio.'
She said that we have made an area-wise list of the Rotaractors living in their respective areas who can give awareness and support of polio in the area and how we can further facilitate the people in those areas.
Social Media also plays an important role and from time to time we create awareness of polio in live sessions and post various pictures and notes to create awareness of polio.
District Rotaract Chairman Raza Tabish mentioned that they are fully energized for the upcoming March NIDs and said, 'we have worked a lot on community outreach.' They have also gone to different mosques to create awareness of polio. Refusals in Sindh especially in Karachi are also a cause of concern
The National Chair informed them about the areas of concern in Sindh especially Orangi, Gadap, SITE Town and Kemari Town and the Pakhtun population of Sindh is our major concern, refusals are less but we still need to work harder in those areas.
PP Masood Bhalli, Zonal Coordinator Sindh mentioned that missed children are still a cause of concern, He also highlighted posh areas and high-rise buildings where polio teams have no access. The Rotaractors can also take help from UNICEF and they will fully support them. The number of missed children is a cause of major concern and we need to work closely only then we can eradicate polio from Pakistan.
Past District Governor Irfan Qureshi said Rotaractors should have a basic general knowledge of polio. He mentioned that social and digital media is the best way to create awareness of polio. We can also make presentations and energize Rotaract clubs. We can do our bit to stop this crippling disease for our future generation.
Polio drops are a facility for the people of Pakistan which we get on our doorstep. Every front-line worker works hard for the children of Pakistan to eradicate polio.
Rtr. Ayaz Khattak – Rotaract Club of Karachi East said that he is working at Union Council 04 Metroville SITE as a communications officer. He said that Rotaractors need to know the ground-level challenges faced by the front-line workers. He also mentioned that we need more awareness sessions in schools and need to motivate polio workers with rewards and shields.
There are also refusals and various challenges still lingering in the Pakhtun population and we need more awareness sessions in those areas. We can also use the Pakhtun leaders to engage them to create awareness sessions in their specific community.
Rtr. Tariq Jawed - Rotaract Club of Karachi Kolachi He said that we need to be vigilant and target mosques first for polio awareness sessions and in the Friday prayers the imam of the mosque can further spread the message that OPV drops are safe and secure for every child of Pakistan.
The National Chair informed us that we also have an Ulema Committee that takes care of this; we also have Ulema Declaration books which we have for awareness. He also mentioned that Haji Hanif Tayyab – Pakistan Polio Ulema Committee Chair is going to Latifabad, Hyderabad on Sunday and he is going to address around 300 participants regarding polio awareness.
Rtr. Hiba Khan - Rotaract Club of Karachi Indus Valley mentioned that she has done three campaigns on polio, one in Baldia, Sultanabad and Lyari
She said these areas are under-served and we need to work closely in those areas. Her club members also approached health workers in those areas as they know how to convince the members of those areas. We also gave mobilization items, pencils, books etc to children of those areas. Storytelling sessions were also held in those areas.
She also mentioned that she is working closely with female health workers in areas like Maripur, Baldia and Lyari.
Rtr. Midhat Jamal – Rotaract Club of Karachi Essa Creek said our main focus is polio awareness sessions in different areas. She suggested that Rotaractors should also make videos on polio awareness and true stories of polio survivors which will create an impact on the community members
Rtr. Mumtaz Ali Buriro - District Polio Chair – Rotaract Club of Larkana
He said that under the leadership of DRR and DRC we have worked very hard and he suggested that we should work for polio all year round especially before every NID’s. We should also send out messages of NID via social media. The message of polio should be given in schools and mosques.
Rtr. Muhammad Hassan Naviwala - Rotaract Club of Karachi Kolachi said that we should make a plan strategically. He suggested that the head of every community should spread the message of polio, and then only people can get rid of this crippling disease. We should design our plan strategically and involve the head of different communities to further strengthen our message to create positive reinforcement.
The meeting was followed by a fruitful Q & A session. The Rotaractors came forward with suggestions and ideas.
Vote of thanks DRR Iqra Sajjad thanked the PolioPlus team and the Rotary leaders for giving them the opportunity to come forward and share their ideas.
In the end, National Chair Aziz Memon thanked the participants for their time and active participation.
Report by Jazmine Vania