WHO,federal Government To Reduce Field Staff To Support Eradication Polio Exercise


WHO,federal government to reduce field staff  to support eradication Polio exercise

HYDERABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 18th Oct, 2020 ) :With the polio virus continuing to be found in the monthly environmental samples collected from Hyderabad, the World Health Organization and the Federal government are reducing field staff laying crucial support to the eradication exercise.

The Deputy Commissioner Hyderabad Fuad Ghaffar Soomro has written to Coordinator Emergency Operations Center, Sindh, to keep the deployment of the staff and officers unchanged in view of the challenge of making immunization campaigns successful.

He apprised the Coordinator Fayyaz Hussain Abbassi the existing staff of 22 union council polio officers (UCPOs) was being reduced to 7 in Hyderabad while the against 3 taluka based Polio Eradication Officers (PEOs) only one would perform the duty.

He added that the fate of the Area Coordinator of the polio program was still undecided.

"Reduction in the posts of UCPOs and PEOs is anticipated from the EOC [Emergency Operation Center] which will only augment the challenge of the polio virus immensely because the staff hasn't only acted as the whistle blowers but also acted as frontline fighters in every campaign," reads the letter.

He said the staff in question was an invaluable asset in the combat against the crippling virus and pointed out that the performance of the district health department as far as the polio drive was concerned was not satisfactory.

"For instance, in the last 4 months, 3 District Health Officers (DHOs) have been posted and the incumbent one is working on an acting basis," the letter reads.

The DC stated that the polio immunization campaigns would be undermined without the said staff and requested the authorities to retain the existing number of staff in Hyderabad.

On August 24, the UCPOs in Hyderabad received letters which stated that their employment contract for Polio Third Party Personnel (PTPP) would not be extended beyond September 30.

A subsequent letter dated September 25, however, gave a one month extension to their service till October 31.

Moreover, National Emergency Operation Center (NEOC) is also withdrawing its National Stop Transmission of Polio (NSTOP) program officer posted at Hyderabad division level.

"A dedicated NSTOP officer at the division level looked after multifarious issues related to data compilation of the nine districts [of Hyderabad division]," reads the DC's letter to EOC Sindh.

"The NSTOP officer posted at Hyderabad district also dealt with different operational issues at the UC level besides data compilation," it added.

On October 13, the Coordinator EOC Sindh took up the matter with the National Coordinator NEOC.

He also pointed out the same concerns and requested the NEOC to allow the NSTOP officials at the divisional and district levels in Hyderabad to continue their work.

A 6 years old girl was detected with the polio virus in Hyderabad last month while 2 cases surfaced in the district in 2019.