Minister upbeat about eradicating poliovirus | The Express Tribune


Punjab Minister for Primary and Secondary Health Dr Yasmeen Rashid said on Friday that 2021 proved a happy year well for polio as no case was reported in the country.

“If such hard work is done for another two years, Pakistan will get rid of the poliovirus and declare a polio-free state,” she said while addressing a press conference after visiting the Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) Rawalpindi.

The provincial health minister said that the team in Rawalpindi has given anti-polio drops to 99 per cent of children. Around 29,000 missing children were to be traced and vaccinated now.

She said that health cards have been issued to 8.5 million families so far and more cards will be issued across Punjab from January 1.

Dr Rashid said that she has taken notice of the incident of violence against a female nurse by doctors at the BBH. “Until a complete investigation, PG Dr Asif has been suspended and the health secretary has been asked to probe the incident.” The provincial health minister said that health cards would be distributed in Lahore from January 1, 2022, and in Rawalpindi from January 22. She said that CT scan and MRI facilities in all government hospitals had been outsourced. Citizens will pay through health cards to avail this facility.

“The Punjab health department has vaccinated 48 million children against rubella. The first dose of the coronavirus has been given to more than 50 million people. The second dose has been administered to 30 million people. The second dose will be given to all by January 10,” she said adding that the process of giving booster doses to people aged 50 years and above will be started soon.

She said that the government was trying to make the campaign a success. She said that only 10 patients of coronavirus were currently admitted in hospitals in Punjab. There is no lockdown now, however, the new variant of the coronavirus was posing a new threat

“Under the EPI campaign, 3.5 million children were vaccinated against measles and the health department successfully ran the campaign.

Dr Rashid said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced health cards to all. Health cards have been given to all citizens in Dera Ghazi Khan and Sahiwal. All Pakistanis should register themselves to avail health facilities.


Published in The Express Tribune, December 18th, 2021.

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