PESHAWAR: An orientation-cum-consultation awareness workshop on polio was held for senior journalists on Thursday.
The participants were updated on the ongoing efforts for the eradication of polio from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), their success rates, remaining challenges and the way forward to see the mission to its completion. The journalists were also consulted and advised on how they might contribute to the mission and were asked to spread awareness regarding the necessity of polio immunisation.
KP Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Coordinator Atif Rehman, Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation (BMGF) Technical Focal Person Dr Imtiaz Ali Shah, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Team Leader Dr Johar, World Health Organisation (WHO) Provincial Polio Eradication Officer Dr Illaudin, UNICEF Media Specialist Saeed Ahmed and communication experts were present at the occasion. More than 30 journalists attended the orientation workshop.
EOC Coordinator Atif Rehman welcomed the media persons in the workshop and spoke at length about the establishment of EOCs, their objectives and output.
He said that EOC has provided a platform to the government and all the technical partners to work together on polio eradication, identify issues and strategize accordingly.
Dr Imtiaz Ali Shah briefed the gathering on the National Emergency Action Plan (NEAP) 2017-18 and highlighted the key areas of operation to achieve the goal of a polio-free Pakistan.
Dr Ilaudin gave a detailed presentation on oral polio vaccine, inactivated polio vaccine (IPV), significance of repeated vaccination, virus transmission and environmental surveillance.
He asked media persons to play their role in ridding the country of polio and spreading the message of “two drops of polio every time” in every part of the region.
Communication expert Ejazur Rehman talked about the role that media can play in effectively engaging the community. He said that the success of all ongoing efforts ultimately depended on the understanding and acceptance of the community regarding the mission of defeating polio.
UNICEF media expert Saeed Ahmed spoke about media management and the expectations and support from EOCs.
Senior Health Reporter Umar Farooq gave a presentation on the media’s partnership with WHO in Polio Eradication Initiative (PEI), focusing specifically on health reporting.
The participating journalists asked several questions which were responded to by the technical experts. Atif Rehman gave a vote of thanks at the end of the conference. Certificates were distributed among the participants.