A Polio Orientation & Planning Workshop was organized by Pakistan National PolioPlus Committee on July 17, 2021 at the Avari Hotel in Lahore. The workshop was chaired by Trustee/National Chair Aziz Memon and District Governor Saifullah Ejaz. It was encouraging to see participation of 14 Rotaractors from Punjab & KPK and 125 Rotarians from District 3272
TRF Trustee/ National Chair Aziz Memon
Participants as per Agenda
District Governor Saifullah Ejaz (RID 3272)
DGE Adnan S Rohaila
PDG Chaudary Mushtaq- District Polio Chair RID 3272
Dr. Shahzad Baig - National EOC Coordinator, Islamabad
Hamesh Young -Team Lead UNICEF
Abidinasir & Dr Aamir Ehsan- Provincial Polio Eradication Officer In WHO Punjab
Dr. Muhammad Mehroz Saleem- PEI-EPI Synergy Coordinator, Punjab
Asher Ali- Project Manager PNPPC
Minutes of the Meeting:
The workshop started with a recitation of Quranic Verses by PDG Saeed Shamsi – Zonal Coordinator Punjab, followed by Trustee/ National Chair Aziz Memon welcoming all participants. He then opened the session for the speakers to begin the proceedings of the workshop.
DG Saifullah Ejaz welcomed all participants. He appreciated those Rotarians who came from other cities and the polio partners. He said ''we are here to show our commitment to kick off this crippling disease this year and play our role of advocacy in a more efficient way.''
DGE Adnan S. Rohaila said all Rotarians address polio as a subject. He said under the leadership of Trustee Aziz Memon we are motivated to work for polio eradication in our respective areas. He said ''it’s the beginning of the end.'' No recurrence of polio should be our goal. He added that we have our own ground realities and we have to fight challenges. He appreciated the role of the Government, polio partners and Pakistan Army to facilitate polio eradication programs in tribal areas.
PDG Chaudary Mushtaq- District Polio Chair RID 3272 briefed about his journey in Rotary as a Rotarian. He said the workshop is a training ground for all Rotary Club PEs & AGs as well as Club Polio Chairs. He said Rotarians and Rotractors play a very important role in advocacy for polio. They contribute to the polio program through advocacy in all sectors of civil society. Since we are very close to finishing polio, it is a critical point and we should be more alert. We are lucky that we have a polio leader Dr. Shahzad Baig who has a vast experience of working in Nigeria and we hope under his leadership we will soon eradicate polio.
Hamesh Young TL UNICEF gave a detailed powerpoint presentation on the Communication Strategies & Advocacy for Polio Eradication faced in polio campaigns. He said we focused on an enabling environment through engagement of mass media and communities. He also highlighted remaining challenges like migratory/ mobile population, COVID 19 regarding rumors etc.
Dr. Amir Ahsan, Polio Eradication Government of Punjab gave a brief presentation on the history of polio and its eradication. He said now we are the only two countries that have the circulation of polio virus. This is the time when we must put our all efforts to complete eradicate polio. He also mentioned the next schedule of upcoming NIDs as follows;
NIDs September 13- 17 2021
NIDs December 13-17, 2021
Dr. Shahzad Baig Coordinator N-EOC Islamabad thanked Rotary for their continued support. He mentioned Rotary supported Resource Centers, PTP and advocacy interventions.
He spoke on working towards polio ‘’a free Pakistan and the opportunity to interrupt transmission.’’He gave a comparison of polio cases from last year. He said we should learn lessons from the past and fill the gaps. He continued to say, it is good that the Government's commitment is with us and there is no hurdle to complete the task. He focused on more coordination among concerned departments and PEOCs. He said now our focus is on new innovations / use of technology and integrated approach to address missed children & other last mile challenges. We have clear and proven strategies in NEAP - effective implementation will help navigating the last mile and guarantee success. Next 6 – 12 months are critically important
Dr. Mehroz Saleem, PEI-EPI Synergy Coordinator, Punjab gave a brief presentation on PEI/EPI synergy. He explained some challenges especially during pandemic and the way forward to improve Routine Immunization.
CDG Rauf Rohaila - Zonal Coordinator KP highlighted the achievements and said KP has not reported a case since last one year. The collaborative efforts proved to be very successful and we have to be vigilant in tribal areas. He also gave a brief presentation of KP province showing areas where more attention is needed.
Trustee/ National Chair Aziz Memon thanked all participants and appreciated the presence of a large number of Rotractors. He said the Polio Ulema Committee Haji Hanif Tayyab could not come as he was not feeling well. He briefed the role of Ulema in polio eradication and stressed Rotractors must contact local khateeb of their areas to create more awareness on polio vaccination. Trustee Aziz Memon highlighted the importance of Central Pakistan and said Southern Punjab needs special attention.
He thanked all our strategic partners for their continued efforts. He said Rotary will support the polio program in Pakistan and will make Pakistan a polio free country. He pointed out that though we are very near to finishing the transmission of the virus we have to be very vigilant during campaigns for maximum coverage. He also said, under the able leadership of Dr. Shahzad Baig we will reach our goal. He said, Dr. Shahzad was a Rotary Club member in Nigeria, who will transfer his membership from Nigeria to Pakistan. The National Chair fixed an EPN pin on Dr. Baig.
Breakout sessions were coordinated by:
Group 1: CDG Rauf Rohaila- Challenges in KPK & Tribal District
Group 2: PDG Saeed Shamsi- Our long term goal- Improvement in Routine Immunization
Group 3: PDG Sajid Pervaiz Bhatti- Way forward for polio eradication
Breakout sessions facilitated by respective coordinators helped new Rotary club Presidents on what and how they can help in the cause of polio eradication and what form of advocacy is necessary during polio campaigns.
Each group presented their findings and discussed with participants.
Pledge by Trustee / National Chair Aziz Memon with Governors of RID-3272
Before the vote of thanks the District Governor Saifullah Ejaz, DGE Adnan Rohaila and DGE Mian Salman Mubarak and Trustee / National Chair Aziz Memon pledged their support and commitment to end polio this year, and that Rotary will do all that needs to be done to make this the last year for the polio virus in Pakistan. The 126 participants raised their hands and they also pledge full support to make Pakistan Polio-Free.
Vote of thanks
DGN Mian Salman Mubarak thanked all Rotarians who came from different cities of Punjab and Khyber Paktunkhwa. He thanked all the guest speakers and the Chief Guest for attending the workshop. He lauded the efforts of the TRF/National Chair PNPPC Aziz Memon for his dedication and active participation to make the workshop successful.
Asghar's two young sons, Aayan and Yahya both pledged a contribution of US$25 each to the Rotary Foundation for PolioPlus.