Polio monitoring board enhances targets for Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) for Polio has increased a number of targets for Pakistan to eliminate the crippling disease by the end of the year.

These included an enhancement in the quality of polio campaigns, reduction in the number of missed children, tracing children affected with polio-like diseases and the stability in the leadership of the polio programme.

The board also called for a peak performance from all stakeholders to eradicate the virus. It warned that the virus would not be eliminated unless aggressive efforts were made.

The IMB, which works on behalf of the international donor agencies and issues reports regarding the performance of countries after every six months, held its meeting in the United Kingdom on July 20 and 21. The meeting was chaired by IMB Chairman Sir Liam Donaldson. Delegations from Afghanistan and Nigeria also presented their cases. The board takes three to four weeks to compile and release a report.

The IMB recognized major improvements in the performance of the Pakistan polio eradication programme during the last three years as there was a 59pc reduction in the polio cases compared to the previous year. Besides, the number of missed children also decreased. However, the board said the goal of interrupting the transmission may not be achieved in 2016 if more intensified efforts were not made.

An official of the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS), requesting not to be identified, told Dawn that the board had set a number of targets for Pakistan.

“It has been suggested that special focus should be given to Karachi, northern Sindh and the Khyber block. Moreover, the board expressed concerns over changes in the leadership of the polio programme, especially in Sindh, because it can affect the country’s goal to eradicate the virus by the end of the year. It has been suggested that the leadership of the polio programme should not be changed till May 2017.”

The official said in the past Pakistan had a target to cover 90pc children during the vaccination campaigns. “We achieved that target but now the target has been increased to 95pc. The results of the lot quality assurance sampling (LQAS) have also been increased from 80pc to 90pc,” he said.

LQAS is a verification survey held after each polio campaign by an independent or third-party team to check whether children of the area had been vaccinated or not. About 300 houses are checked during the survey and if it is confirmed that 95pc of the children have been vaccinated the LQAS is considered successful.

“The target for the missed children is also increased and now we have to make efforts to further decrease the number of missed children to ensure the optimum level of performance,” he said.

“The IMB has increased our surveillance target due to which we have to find more polio-like cases in children. Whenever a child is paralysed, there can be many reasons for it but we have to check them for the polio.”

Under the global standard, two cases of paralysis per 100,000 population are reported but for Pakistan the target has been increased to three cases of paralysis per 100,000 population. For around 50 sensitive union councils, the target has been increased to six per 100,000 population, he said.

Secretary Ministry of NHS Ayub Sheikh told Dawn that all the targets given by the IMB would be achieved.

“We are already on track and doing well so we believe that polio will be eradicated by the end of the year,” he said.

Minister for NHS Saira Afzal Tarar said Pakistan was committed to addressing the remaining challenges and ending polio transmission in 2016.

The National Emergency Action Plan 2016-17, which is driving the programme operations, risk assessment and management, oversight and accountability, lays out an ambitious plan to tackle the remaining gaps, she said.

It may be noted that in November 2012, the IMB recommended that travel restrictions should be imposed on Pakistan and finally its recommendations were implemented on May 5, 2014.

Meanwhile, a statement issued by World Health Organisation (WHO) said the emergency committee under the international health regulations 2005 regarding the international spread of polio virus at its 10th meeting held on August 11 applauded the strong progress being made in Pakistan with consistent evidence of reduced transmission in 2016.

As a result of these efforts, there had been no international spread of wild polio-virus between Pakistan and Afghanistan after the previous meeting, it added.

In order to make the province a crime free.IG

In order to make the province a crime free, service oriented police equipped with latest technology is the dire need of present situation and this is the reason that by utilizing the information technology HRMIS of Punjab Police has been computerized and all transfers / postings besides, the payment of the salaries is being made through this system. With the commencement of this system, Punjab police has saved 8 Billion rupees.
This was stated by Inspector General of Police, Punjab, Mushtaq Ahmad Sukhera, while addressing T.V anchors during a meeting held at Central Police Office, Lahore today. Addl: IGP Operations / Investigation, Capt. (R) Arif Nawaz, DIG Operations, Amir Zulfiqar, AIG Operations, Shahzada Sultan, AIG Admin, Zubair Dareshak, AIG Finance, Hussain Habib Imtiaz, AIG Monitoring, Ghazi Salauiddin, and PSO to IGP, Dr. Shahzad Asif also attended the meeting.
On this occasion, IGP said that according to the international standards, London is spending 750 dollars, Turky 135, East Punjab 16 and Punjab is spending only 7 dollar per-capita on security expenditures. He further said that in present situation the volume of FIRs per police stations has been raised from 50 to 2000 and despite of financial limitations Punjab police is discharging its duties diligently and efficiently.
Mushtaq Sukhera said that for the improvement of investigation system and to make it more effective, Punjab police is moving towards specialization and the establishment of Homicide Units by utilizing the latest technical kits for collection of accurate evidences made the investigation more advance and authentic. He said that due to the excellent performance of investigation officers of these Homicide Units the heinous crime like murder has been reduced by -6%.
The Provincial Police Chief further stated that combing operation across Punjab are going on and only during the period of last two years 60497 search operations have been conducted under which 2017594 have been questioned and 11194 cases were registered during these operations. He also told that first time in Punjab all DSPs have been appointed on merit and were picked from “A” category, besides, no DSP could be appointed in his home district and no one could also be posted at the same district where he served for 10 years.
Mushtaq Sukhera also said that all kind of sectarianism in Punjab is completely under control. Similarly, the terrorism incidents are also at decrease which were 19 in 2015 and in 2016, only 7 terrorist acts were occurred in Punjab. He further said that our 706 police officers / officials embraced martyrdom and 464 received injuries uptil now, during various terrorism activities and in line of their duties. He added, that he himself was attacked thrice during his IGP’s tenure in Balochistan but despite of these incidents I and my Punjab police force is always remained vigilant to defuse / oil the designs of miscreants, criminals and terrorists, concluded the IGP

Peshawar doctors perform surgery to remove 22 metal, glass objects from patient’s stomach

PESHAWAR: In an unusual occurrence, surgeons in Peshawar recovered 22 pieces of metal from the stomach of a young patient on Thursday.

The 22-year-old woman, a resident of Kurram Agency’s Parachinar area, complained of severe pain in her abdomen earlier this week and was rushed to Lady Reading Hospital.

After conducting an examination and reviewing x-rays carefully, doctors reached the conclusion that there were metallic objects in the patient’s stomach.

Dr Sajjad, who was leading a team of surgeons at LRH, said the team operated for four hours on the patient and and removed 22 metallic objects from her stomach, including large nails and hair pins, and pieces of glass.

The woman is in stable condition now, Dr Sajjad said. He added that the patient’s case history revealed that she suffered from fits and mental illness.

The surprising story comes to light just days after a similar case emerged in Indian Punjab, where doctors operated on a 42-year-old police officer and removed 40 folding knives from his stomach.

Indian doctors suspected their patient suffered from Pica, a condition described in the Journal of the American Board of Medicine as “common, but commonly missed.”

Pica is the compulsive eating of non-nutritive substances and can have serious medical implications, the journal says.

Pakistan Army wins international sniping competition in Beijing

RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Army soldiers have won an international sniping and shooting competition in Beijing, said the Inter-Services Public Relations on Thursday.

The team representing Pakistan Army secured first position in all individual and team events.

Naik Arshad was declared the best sniper in the competition, which was attended by 21 teams representing 14 countries.

In July, a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) C-130 Hercules transport aircraft won the Concours D’ Elegance trophy at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) Show 2016 at Royal Air Force Base Fair Ford in the United Kingdom.

More than 200 aircraft from 50 countries participated in the competition, with the Pakistani contingent stealing the show and winning the trophy.

Last year, a team of Pakistan Army won the gold medal in the premier patrolling event of the British Army – Exercise Cambrian Patrol – beating around 140 teams from armies across the globe.

ECP issues notice to PTI chief

ISLAMABAD: Election Commission of Pakistan has issued notice to Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan for violating elections code of conduct and summoned on August 27 to give explanation.

The notice said rally and Imran’s address on the occasion of by-polls in NA-63 Jhelum is violation of code of conduct.

According to ECP code of conduct, President, Prime Minister, MNAs and MPAs cannot visit such a constituency where election schedule has been issued.