Dubai March 1, 2018: Appreciating the important contributions of the National Stop Transmission of Polio (N-STOP) programme officers in high risk districts, Prime Minister’s Focal Person for Polio Eradication, Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq has emphasized the need for harder work to give poliovirus the final push.

Addressing the inaugural session of the NSTOP training, Senator Farooq said N-STOP officer’s assistance to Deputy Commissioners to functionalize DPCRs, District Polio Eradication Committees and Union Council Polio Eradication Committees has played an important role in polio eradication efforts.

Eighty-one senior government officials and NSTOP officers participated in the advanced training organized in Dubai on 23 -28 February by the National Emergency Operations Centre in collaboration with provincial EOCs, FELTP-NSTOP- CDC - WHO –UNICEF -BMGF.

During the week-long training, 16 senior government and EOC officials, Divisional Commissioners Bannu, Mardan and Larkana, Additional Deputy Commissioner Islamabad, provincial EOC Coordinators of Punjab, KP, FATA, Deputy Secretary Health Sindh, Secretary Health Baluchistan, Provincial Programme manager EPI KP, provincial Technical Focal Persons from BMGF and 65 NSTOP officers were trained by 18 technical experts on advance skills on polio eradication.

The training was designed to enhance the skills and knowledge of participants on key areas of reaching out high risk mobile populations through effective microplanning, team building, effective communication and conflict management, AFP Surveillance, PEI-EPI Synergy, evidence based recommendation and writing skills as wells outbreak investigation and response. At the end of each day participants shared their action plans to face the remaining challenges based on the skills learnt during the training. Training evaluations were done on daily basis through online system and a special session on environmental surveillance with laboratory perspective was facilitated by Executive Director NIH /Director FELTP Brigadier Dr. Aamer Ikram.

Addressing the concluding session, Coordinator of National EOC Dr. Rana Muhammad Safdar praised the contribution of NSTOP officers and stressed upon utilizing the new skills to bridge the remaining gaps during the upcoming campaigns. “only high quality campaigns will help us eradicate the virus from the country and NSTOP officers have a big responsibility on their shoulders to ensure that every campaign during the remaining low season is of high quality”, he said.

Resident Advisor (CDC) FELTP, Dr Rana Jawad Asghar expressed gratitude to all participants, facilitators, senior government officials and partner team leads for organizing this successful training workshop.

The training was concluded with strong resolve and commitment to stop poliovirus circulation by 2018. PEI partners team leads including Dr. Abdi Rehman WHO, Dr. John Agbor UNICEF, Dr. Altaf Bosan BMGF and Dr Noha Farag CDC also participated in the concluding session.

The N-STOP is a collaborative initiative of the Government of Pakistan, FELTP, World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta. The programme trains and deploys Government Public Health Officers in critical polio districts to serve as key technical support persons with the Deputy Commissioners.