MOS chairing a high level meeting to review the Polio Situation in Civil Secretariat at Peshawar

August 19, 2015

Minister of state for National Health Services Regulation and coordination Saira Afzal Tarar said that since diseases do not know borders, there is a need for closer collaboration amongst the provinces and Federal Government in order to protect our future generations. We have agreed to accelerate work on developing a national health vision document that provides broad guidelines and sets standards. She said that Polio Eradication, Routine Immunization, Prime Minister’s National Health Insurance Program and devising a National Vision for Health were discussed during my visit. She said this while addressing a Joint Press Conference by along with Health Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa here in Peshawar on Wednesday.

 

She said we had detailed discussion on the Polio situation in the Province. We have brought to the attention of the Provincial Government to ensure that Polio campaigns are of the highest quality and that special attention must be paid to the three key highest risk districts Peshawar, Tank and Bannu that have consistently reported Polio virus transmission. We shared with the Provincial Government our concern that Peshawar remains the hotbed of Polio virus. 13 out of the 29 cases reported so far this year from the country belong to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. We discussed ways and means to arrest the situation by ensuring that the Polio campaigns in the low transmission season are of the highest quality. She appreciated the efforts of the KP Government in successfully vaccinating IDPs against Polio and with other vaccinations. Also we commended the efforts to provide security to the Polio teams and due compensation to the families of the shaheed Polio workers and those who were injured in the line of duty. I and my team have assured the fullest support to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government in their efforts to eradicate Polio.

 

She said Routine Immunization was another area of focus during my visit. Unfortunately despite the availability of resources, there is an urgent need to improve access to immunization services against nine deadly diseases of children. Though there are concerns about low routine immunization coverage in the province, we are confident that things are moving in the right direction now. She said I am optimistic  about the steps taken by KPK to improve vaccine management and mitigate a situation that results in problems of storage, distribution, handling, management and stock control of vaccines and supplies at all levels, frequent stock-outs, and inadequate cold chain capacity. The federal and Provincial Governments have agreed to work in close coordination to ensure that the uninterrupted supply of all vaccines to the Province continue and that the coverage is up-scaled on urgent basis.

 

Saira Afzal Tarar and KPK Provincial Health Minister told Media that we had detailed discussion on Prime Minister’s National Health Insurance Program. In accordance with vision of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif this land mark program is striving to provide a cash less scheme for the poor people of Pakistan to access needed health care services Through this scheme poor families will be provided with free of cost health insurance to access health care services including priority disease treatment free of charge. The districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa included in first phase of the program are Mardan, Malakand, Kohat and Chitral..Each province will have its program specific Project Management Units whose main responsibility is to provide support in enrolment of the families, hospital empanelment, service delivery, monitoring and trouble shooting in all phase of program implementation. The federal and Provincial Governments have agreed to work closely to fast track the implementation of this Program.

 

MOS for Health Saira Afzal Tarar said she discussed at length the critical need to develop a National Vision or a National Policy Framework for Health. As you are aware, after 18th amendment, implementation in the area of health is a provincial subject. The federal government is providing support in terms of inter-provincial coordination, planning, standardization and regulation, international collaboration and resource mobilization. Since diseases do not know borders, there is a need for closer collaboration amongst the provinces and federal government. We have agreed to accelerate work on developing a national health vision document that provides broad guidelines and sets standards.