Pakistan: Polio Control Cell enables access to 9,000 missed kids
The Polio Control Cell established by Pakistan Television Network, incollaboration with the Ministry of Health and Unicef, has helped reach9,000 children who may otherwise have been missed during the ongoingnational polio campaign that concluded on January 21.> An estimated 3,000 telephone calls were received by the cell. Parentsuse dedicated telephone numbers to launch complaints about theunavailability of polio teams and to obtain information regardingpolio vaccination.
Minister for Health Mir Aijaz Hussein Jakhrani visited the Polio Control Cell established at the PTV Centre here on Thursday along with the national manager of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation Dr. Altaf Bosan. The minister was briefed on the working of the cell and special arrangements made for airing its activities.
While at the cell, Jakhrani received several calls from people regarding vaccination of their children. He was informed by callers that the polio teams had not arrived in their vicinities, at which teams were dispatched within an hour on the minister's instructions.
Talking live from the Polio Control Cell, Jakhrani said the government is committed to protecting the children of Pakistan from the scourge of polio. He said reaching every eligible child was a task, which can only be accomplished with the collaboration of all stakeholders including the media which, he said, has to play a proactive role in waging a war against disease and disability.
Seven telephone lines are available at the cell for receiving phone calls. A team constituted by the Ministry of Health and UNICEF collects the data and immediately informs the concerned EDO Health, who takes prompt action.
The chief of health at Unicef, Dr. Ibrahim El-Ziq and polio communication head, Melissa Corkum, were also present on the occasion.
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