- One more polio case detected in Khyber Agency; polio toll reaches 62
- PM directs deployment of army at FATA borders for secure anti-polio drive
- Health Ministry apologises to army for falling short of 60,000 polio vaccines it had demanded
As Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday directed the authorities to engage Pakistan Army to ensure security at all border points of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) to regulate ingress of people into settled areas only after polio vaccine has been administered, another polio case was reported in Khyber Agency, taking the total number of polio cases in the country to 62.
The latest case reported is of 27-month-old Mir Fayyaz, a resident of Tehsil Bara of Khyber Agency. Since January to date, a total of 48 polio cases have been reported in FATA with four cases coming from South Waziristan.
While talking to National Coordinator for Polio Eradication MNA Ayesha Raza Farooq, the prime minister directed the coordinator to meet the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor to ensure better access and coverage of polio workers to masses.
HEALTH MINISTRY CAN’T DELIVER:
In the meanwhile, the Health Ministry has apologised to the Pakistan Army for not being able to provide polio vaccines it had demanded.
Pakistan Army had sought 60,000 polio vaccines from the ministry in the wake of travel restrictions imposed by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
In a letter written by the army’s General Headquarters (GHQ) to Health Ministry, it was said that 60,000 oral polio vaccines be provided to army as its personnel were scheduled to travel abroad for UN Peace Mission, short courses and those on deputation.
The letter had demanded issuance of immunisation certificates as well. The letter reads, “50,000 polio vaccines are required for army, followed by 8,000 vaccines for Pakistan Air Force and 2,000 vaccines for Pakistan Navy.”
Officials in the Health Ministry said it was impossible to provide number of vaccines sought by army and they could get vaccines from relevant hospitals.
It is learnt that Health Ministry would soon inform the GHQ in writing about shortage of vaccines and their inability to provide the same.