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> Political Ownership of Polio Eradication: Punjab MPA Caucus to eradicate Polio in High Risk Areas formed under the patronage of Speaker Punjab Assembly
Polio Eradication
January 09, 2013


Lahore, January 09: Members of the Punjab Assembly representing major political parties met in Lahore and formed a multi-party Caucus to eradicate Polio from the High Risk Areas of the Punjab under the patronage of Honourable Mr. Rana Iqbal Ahmed Khan, MPA; Speaker, Provincial Assembly of the Punjab.


The Caucus, facilitated by PILDAT, will work to promote ways and means to eradicate polio in the high risk areas of the Punjab. PILDAT had also facilitated the formation of a Caucus on Extended Programme of Immunization Provincial Assembly of Punjab in 2010.


Addressing the Briefing, Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, President PILDAT said that Pakistan is ranked in the only three countries of the world that still have polio. He highlighted that Polio cases may be on the decline compared to previous year but the disease and its alarming spread poses a huge challenge for Pakistan. It is, therefore, imperative that elected representatives oversee the polio eradication efforts in their constituencies and routinely monitor the progress towards achieving the goal of polio eradication across the province and the country.


The members of the Punjab Assembly who attended the briefing session and became members of the caucus include the following: Mian Muhammad Rafique, MPA (PP-90, Toba Tek Singh VII, PML-N), Engr. Qamar Ul Islam Raja, MPA (PP-5, Rawalpindi V, PML), Mr. Ehsan Ul Haq Ahsan Noulatia, MPA (PP-253, Muzzafragrah III, PPPP), Mr. Ijaz Ahmed Khan, MPA (PP-151, Lahore XV, PML-N), Ms. Afshan Farooq, MPA (W-302, PML-N), Sardar Malik Jahanzeb Waran, MPA (PP-269, Bahawalpur III, PML-N), Ms. Shameela Aslam, MPA (W-308, PML-N), Ms. Anjum Safdar, MPA (W-304, PML-N), Ms. Ayesha Javed, MPA (W-335, PML), Dr. Ghazala Raza Rana, MPA (W-316, PML-N), Chaudhry Javed Ahmed, Advocate, MPA ( PP-228, Pakpattan II, PML-N) and Senator Mr. Mohammad Mohsin Khan Leghari, (Punjab, Independent).The Briefing Session was chaired by Honourable Mr. Rana Iqbal Ahmed Khan, MPA; Speaker, Provincial Assembly of the Punjab.


Dr. Mushtaq Rana, Immunization Officer UNICEF, Dr. Asif Chaudhry, Coordinator WHO and Dr. Tanwir Ahmed, Director EPI Punjab appraised the members of the Punjab Assembly about the current situation of Polio in the Punjab and said that only two cases out of the 58 reported in 2012 in Pakistan have been reported from Punjab.


During the course of the discussion, it was pointed out by the Punjab MPAs that the DCOs do not give enough notice to the elected Members to participate in the polio campaigns. MPAs are not consulted and that leads to lack of political ownership. Stress was also laid on the training of the Polio workers. Religious Clerics should also be included in the Polio Campaigns, advised MPAs.


Honourable Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan, Speaker Provincial Assembly of the Punjab, said that members of the Punjab Assembly are working actively for eradication of the polio and the Punjab Assembly has also passed a unanimous resolution in support of the Polio workers who have been martyred while performing their duties.