Anti-measles drive for TDPs is unlikely to start from Jan 29

DI KHAN: The district health department is unlikely to start our-day anti-measles campaign for the Temporary Displaced Persons (C) staying in the district from Thursday.

The campaign was to start from January 29 to vaccinate around 40465 TDPs children aged between six months to 10 years of South and North Waziristan during the four-day anti-measles drive.

“All set on our part, but the district government is yet to receive logistic material and that a team has arrived from Peshawar to asses level of preparedness by the district health department and its deputed teams who are to vaccinate children,”  Dr Arif Mehmood Coordinator Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) told APP.

He dispelled the impression the campaign was being delayed or put off due to security reasons, saying nothing unusual has taken place to prevent the drive which would be carried out routinely, soon after the procedural formalities were over.

Replying to a question, the official said the January 29 was slated a tentative date to kick off the campaign, since routine matters were still getting settled, the campaign could start beyond the date as highlighted by a section of media.

He said the district had been divided in 39 union councils to be visited by trained 122 teams, comprising four members each to vaccinate children of the specific age.

He said as many as 187 technicians and 244 social moblizers were also taking part in the drive being started in collaboration with World Health Organization (WHO) and the UNICEF to protect IDPs children from the disease.

As part of efforts to reach out to maximum children, the official said, survey was conducted as spade work to indentify the targeted children in the union councils, adding the campaign was widely publicized to create awareness among the parents regarding the vaccination against measles.

However, he was of the view it was not a job of a single individual but all of us should shoulder responsibility to make the campaign successful by ensuring that no single child missed the vaccination, the official observed.

He said the district health department’s officials were struggling hard to wipe out the measles from the district, adding like anti-polio drives which were carried out in a successful manner, this drive would also be made successful.

He was of the view that general public and local communities support was a must to come forward and get their children vaccinated during the campaign to achieve the objective.

He added the concerned officials of the health department were directed in meetings at start of the drive to provide maximum facilities to the parents, enabling them to get their children vaccinated, conveniently.

Similarly, he said the officials were also warned of strict action if they showed negligence or laxity of any kind to undermine the efforts to reach out to the targeted population.

He said effective measures had been made to provide security to the staff of the drive especially during their visit to remote areas and in this regard he added strong coordination had been ensured among the concerned department to conclude it in a peaceful manner.