Fake polio drive to reach OBL

ABBOTTABAD: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Department has terminated the services of assistant district coordinator and several other employees of the National Programme for Family Planning on account of involvement in a fake vaccination campaign that led to the US forces raid at the Osama bin Laden (OBL) compound on May 2, 2011.

The termination letter, available with The News, has been signed by Health Executive District Officer (EDO) Dr Zafeer Hussain on April 6, 2012.

According to the letter, Shaheena Mamraiz, assistant district coordinator and in-charge of the lady health workers in Abbottabad, has been sacked. The letter, with copies to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Services director general and other concerned officers, stated that inquiry officer Dr Minhajul Haq concluded that the charges were proved that Shaheena was involved in monitoring and supervision of a fake vaccination campaign without obtaining permission from any responsible officer of the EDO-health office, Abbottabad.

The letter further said that the reply she had produced in response to a show-cause notice was unsatisfactory wherein she has admitted her negligence herself. She was also heard in person on March 30, 2012 but she could not give a suitable reply. “The official concerned was involved in the fake vaccination campaign with Dr Shakeel Afridi against the national interests and is guilty of misconduct and gross negligence,” it stated.

When contacted, Shaheena confirmed having received the termination letter and said National Programme Abbottabad Coordinator Dr Mushtaq Ahmed Khan was timely informed about the directives of the provincial coordinator Dr Ihsanulllah Turabi. She said the lower staffers including lady health workers were being made scapegoats for the act.

She recalled that two vaccination campaigns were organised during March and April 2011, for which one Altaf Afridi had paid the workers. She said Dr Shakeel Afridi himself provided injections, syringes and pamphlets, etc during the activities. She questioned how it was possible that the coordinator and EDO were unaware of the campaign despite the fact that both officers were usually present at their offices even on Saturday and Sunday.

The official vehicle of the National Programme was used by Dr Shakeel, which clearly shows the involvement of health department, she said, adding that she would knock at the doors of the courts for justice.

The provincial Health Department has already removed 20 employees including National Programme for Family Planning Provincial Coordinator Dr Ihsanullah Turabi, besides the main accused Dr Shakeel Afridi while four others were suspended to face the inquiry.

Those terminated from service include Rehana Bibi, Farzana, Naseem Akhtar, Kosar Waheed, Yasmeen, Razia, Amrezan, Rukhsana, Mumtaz Bibi, Gulfaraz Bibi, Chand Bibi, Farhat Naheed, Nabeela, Naseem Tariq, Mukhtiar Bibi, Yasmeen Bibi, Rukhsana Perveen and Amina Bibi.

Dr Umair Hussain, medical officer/in-charge Basic Health Unit Nawan Shehr, technicians Mazhar Mehmood and Ms Khush Niaz and Shaheena, assistant district coordinator for the programme.

Syed Kosar Naqvi
Thursday, April 12, 2012
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