Progress of anti-polio drive satisfactory-PTI

Source: Published in Health on Tuesday, March 18, 2014

ISLAMABAD: The core committee of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on Monday expressed its satisfaction over the progress of ‘Sehat Ka Insaf Programme’ which the party is running in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to eradicate polio from the province.

Launched in early February, the programme has not only received international appreciation, but also motivated other provinces to chalk out similar health programmes, a PTI spokesperson claims in a press release.

A meeting of the core committee which was presided over by PTI Chairman Imran Khan received a detailed briefing about the programme and expressed satisfaction over its financial management.

The committee was told that the Melinda and the Bill Gates Foundation especially approached the PTI chairman and requested him to take personal charge of the anti-polio drive in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates generously donates funds worldwide for the eradication of polio. The cost of the programme is Rs124 million and it is being looked after and monitored by Unicef and the WHO, be it related to awareness campaign or other extra operational expenditures. Moreover, provincial health and police departments have singed MoUs for their collaboration in the programme. And above all Unicef does its own audit of the money involved in the programme.

On the questions regarding advertisement campaign, the committee was updated that Unicef has directly selected the company for the purpose, as no other NGO is involved in the process. The meeting which took place at Imran Khan’s picturesque residence in Banigala also discussed recent controversial assertions made by the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII).

“The core committee fully supports the existing family laws which are in accordance with Islam and there is nothing contrary to Islam in these laws. These laws have stood the test of time and provided protection and security to girls and women,” the press release said.

The PTI leadership supported the acceptance of the DNA test as an admissible piece of evidence, which the CII in past had refused to accept as primary evidence. It said: “The core committee also supports the acceptance of DNA as evidence in cases of rape.”

Talking to Dawn, PTI’s core committee’s member Dr Arif Alvi said that the meeting also discussed development projects in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but its special focus was on the Sehat Ka Insaf programme. “Since a number of questions have been raised over this programme, with particular reference to its funding and subsequent expenditures, the party leadership thought it appropriate to make a special briefing.”

“The core committee felt satisfied on learning that finally the (federal) government has accepted PTI’s stated policy of how to deal with the militancy issue in the country,” Dr Alvi responded to a query if Imran Khan shared something out of his meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The PTI was happy over government’s latest peace initiatives, Dr Alvi said.

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Written by Khawar Ghumman

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