A call to eradicate Polio: Pakistan’s cellular initiative and Telenor / News / The Foreigner

A call to eradicate Polio: Pakistan’s cellular initiative and Telenor. Polio is a type of issue that is only treatable through a mass multi-channel campaign. Unfortunately for Pakistan, the initiative was never taken to utilize modern techniques in eradicating the disease. Now, the objective of Rotary's Pakistan National Polio Plus Committee (PNPPC) is to intensify interventions for Polio Eradication in the country, and more specifically in high-risk polio areas. It is trying to develop and facilitate and electronic monitoring system via mobiles in order to reach more children. This innovative step to reach children under five years will be done through implementing partners the Mother & Neonatal Child Health (MNCH), Government of Sindh, and Telenor Pakistan. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing ceremony for the cell phone project was held at the Serena Hotel in Islamabad, Monday. Telenor Pakistan hosted the event, which was headed by Past District Governor (PDG) Aziz Memon, national Chairperson of Pakistan’s National Polio Plus Committee and Mr. Irfan Wahab Khan, Telenor Pakistan’s Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer.

pakistanpolio, telenor



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A call to eradicate Polio: Pakistan’s cellular initiative and Telenor

Published on Saturday, 1st February, 2014 at 20:24 under the news category, by Malik Ayub Sumbal.
Last Updated on 2nd February 2014 at 16:36.

Polio is a type of issue that is only treatable through a mass multi-channel campaign. Unfortunately for Pakistan, the initiative was never taken to utilize modern techniques in eradicating the disease.

MoU signing
Aziz Memon, national Chairperson of Pakistan’s National Polio Plus Committee and Mr. Irfan Wahab Khan, Telenor Pakistan’s Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer signing an MoU in Islamabad.MoU signing
Photo: Malik Ayub Sumbal


Now, the objective of Rotary's Pakistan National Polio Plus Committee (PNPPC) is to intensify interventions for Polio Eradication in the country, and more specifically in high-risk polio areas. It is trying to develop and facilitate and electronic monitoring system via mobiles in order to reach more children. This innovative step to reach children under five years will be done through implementing partners the Mother & Neonatal Child Health (MNCH), Government of Sindh, and Telenor Pakistan.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing ceremony for the cell phone project was held at the Serena Hotel in Islamabad, Monday. Telenor Pakistan hosted the event, which was headed by Past District Governor (PDG) Aziz Memon, national Chairperson of Pakistan’s National Polio Plus Committee and Mr. Irfan Wahab Khan, Telenor Pakistan’s Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer.

The Rotary was represented by District Governor (DG) Iftikhar Ahmed, Past District Governor (PDG) Pervaiz Ahsan and other officials, while Telenor Pakistan was represented by Muhammad Umair – Director of Sales & Distribution, Commercial – Shahzad Najam, Director Business Solutions, and relevant company representatives.

“The cell phone project will prove a great step towards the polio eradication in Pakistan and it will be a source of reaching maximum numbers children in to far flung areas of the country,” Mr Najam said.

Planned to initially benefit the project Community Based Workers (CBWs) of the Mother & Neonatal Child Health project, the initiative provides 552 mobiles to CBWs and their connections. Telenor Pakistan is the service provider. The aim is for them to cover as many missed children and refusals in their catchment areas and expand routine immunization.

According to him, the project will initially cover five districts in Sindh, and is with the collaboration of the MNCH Project and Government of Sindh. It may be replicated in other polio high risk districts especially in Khyber Pakthoonkhaw (KPK) upon successful results.

Commenting about the initiative, Telenor Pakistan’s Irfan Wahab Khan said that “the company is proud to be a part of this and the role of the Rotary Pakistan is appreciable and marvelous towards the polio eradication.”

Community-based projects like these have far reaching impact on our coming generations and make the most of people that we have at our disposal. He added it is the company’s social responsibility to facilitate the project to gain its objectives. They offered very competitive packages for the Community Based Workers to provide humanitarian services.

Pakistan is amongst the last three countries in the world with a polio outburst threat. Afghanistan and Nigeria are the others. Efforts to eradicate polio from Pakistan are being done at national and international level, but the repercussions are quite high. Polio campaign workers in Pakistan face a continuous threat from extremist outfits like Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Several polio workers and their security teams have been injured and killed in attacks by these outfits in different parts of the country.

“The polio workers are the main target of the anti-state actors and the militants who want don't want to make Pakistan a polio free,” Muhammad Zaman, a polio worker from Peshawar told The Foreigner. Mr Zaman added that dozens of polio workers have been killed and targeted in the last few months.

Most of these incidents have threatened the anti-polio drive workers, but these are not the only things that hinder polio eradication. Total numbers of children who missed out on the polio vaccine and the number of registered cases has risen alarmingly in the last couple of years.

So could Telenor’s technical assistance mark the end of reach out problems and polio in Pakistan? The answer is not yet certain, but such efforts are a good step forward in the longer-run.



Published on Saturday, 1st February, 2014 at 20:24 under the news category, by Malik Ayub Sumbal.
Last updated on 2nd February 2014 at 16:36.

This post has the following tags: pakistanpolio, telenor.





  
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