DPHO has no vehicle to ferry health teams

Pokhara, December 14:

The next phase of the anti-polio drive on December 29 and 30 in Kaski district is likely to hit a hurdle as the district public health office (DPHO) does not have a single vehicle to ferry the health teams to the villages. Under the drive, children below five years of age will be administered polio drops.

“The only vehicle at the DPHO’s disposal is lying stalled for the last four days and it starts up only when it is pushed manually,” senior official at the DPHO Jhalak Sharma Poudel said adding that the office has sent request letters for vehicle requisition to private organisations and other government offices. Sharma said that the Health ministry and other offices concerned have not shown any interest in supplying vehicle despite several requests.

He added that the DPHO has again requested the Health Ministry to send two vehicles for the anti-polio drive. Polio vaccine has to be refrigerated and should be taken to the vaccination centres only a day ahead of the administration and lack of vehicle may result in delay in delivery of vaccines, he said.

Sharma said that the DPHO sent requests to chief district officer Bhola Prasad Shivakoti and to the Manipal Teaching hospital for vehicles but nothing has yielded so far. Sharma said that at least four vehicles and a dozen motorcycles are needed for completing the anti-polio drive in 43 villages and Pokhara and Lekhnath municipalities.

Drive supervisor Badri Acharya said that the DPHO would set up 527 centres for administering polio drops to at least 57,294 children.