LAHORE    -   Punjab EOC coordinator Syedah Ramallah Ali has called for a thorough review of polio teams’ micro-plans so that there is zero possibility of children missing anti-polio drops in the upcoming national drive.  The EOC coordinator issued the directions in a meeting held with the Faisalabad health team on Saturday. Faisalabad Commissioner Zahid Hussain and Deputy Commissioner Imran Hamid co-chaired the meeting with the EOC coordinator. Polio eradication partners representing Unicef, BMGF and WHO were also present in the meeting. The EOC coordinator briefed the participants about results of the last NID held in May, the shortcomings identified through data analysis and rereviewed the status of arrangements for the upcoming National Immunization Days (NIDs). This includes innovative ways to improve micro-plans and follow up of missed children. “More emphasis should be laid on improving micro-plans quality. No child should miss polio drops. Remote areas, villages and hamlets where probability of missed children is high need to be focused”, observed the EOC coordinator. The head of the polio programme directed the district health team to focus on improving quality of vaccination campaign “so that immunity of children is boosted and they are protected against the crippling polio virus”.

“Punjab is without a polio case since October 2020. But worryingly, positive environmental samples indicate that the virus is circulating in the area and are a clear message to all the parents to vaccinate their children with two drops of polio every time it is offered,” said the head of the polio programme.

 Ramallah cautioned that monsoon rains could pose serious challenge to the NIDs and ran the risk of causing reinfection. “Rains coupled with displacement of families due to floods could deprive children of the critical polio vaccine,” said the EOC coordinator.

Speaking on the occasion Commissioner Faisalabad Division, Zahid Hussain and DC Imran Hamid urged the health team to focus on the union councils which showed below par results in the Lot Quality Assurance Sampling.

He also directed the district to work on improving the micro-plans.

The National Immunization Days (NIDs) will take place from August 22 to 28. The campaign will be held all over Punjab. In Lahore, Rawalpindi and Faisalabad the campaign will take place for seven days i.e from August 22 to 28, with two days dedicated to reaching ‘not available’ children. While in rest of Punjab the campaign will be held for five days, also with two days dedicated to reaching Not Available children. This will translate into more than 22 million children under the age of five receiving anti-polio vaccinations.