18 officials booked for disrupting polio driveThe Health Ministry has decided to book 18 government officials, including chiefs of three district health offices, for obstructing the polio vaccination drive that started on Saturday.
The Health Ministry has decided to book 18 government officials, including chiefs of three district health offices, for obstructing the polio vaccination drive that started on Saturday.
They have been asked to furnish written clarification within three days why departmental action should not be taken against them. The punitive measures can affect their career prospects.
They disrupted the anti-polio campaign, voicing opposition over staff management including promotion, by boycotting the programme or not opening the vaccination centres. The ministry on Sunday urged all the protesting officials to return to work.
The Home Ministry has asked all the government bodies to support the vaccination, threatening to arrest anyone not cooperating with the drive. The district administration offices have been directed to arrest health professionals who obstruct the national vaccination campaign. Scores of health professionals have been involved in obstructing the campaign that kicked off in 15 districts on Saturday.
Home Ministry Spokesman Bal Krishna Panthi said they had asked the authorities to take action against officials who disrupt the programme. “Everyone has the right to access health services. Anyone involved in obstruction of any health campaign will be booked,” said Panthi.
Except in Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Kapilvastu districts, the campaign was affected on the opening day due to the strike of health professionals. They have been agitating, urging the government to address their demands for promotion and deputation.
The government had scheduled the vaccination drive in Bhaktapur, Kailali, Bardiya, Banke, Kapilvastu, Parsa, Bara, Rautahat, Mahottari, Dhanusha, Siraha, Saptari and Sunsari, among other districts. The Child Health Division of the ministry aims to administer the vaccine to more than 1.6 million children. On Sunday, however, many districts were able to administer polio drops to children. Dr Rajendra Pant, director general of the Department of Health Services, said the campaign went without obstruction.
“Health workers will reach every child who is not vaccinated. We won’t stop the campaign until each one is immunised,” he said. The department has yet to compile the number of children who have been vaccinated in two days.
Those facing action
- Rajkumar Thapa (Bhaktapur)
- Surendra Raj Joshi (Kapilvastu)
- Bishnu Bahadur Chhetri (Kapilvastu)
- Birendra Kumar Mishra (Kapilvastu)
- Prithivi Chandra Bhagat (Sunsari)
- Mahesh Pokhrel (Sunsari)
- Anil Pandey (Parsa)
- Rajesh Prasad Rauniar (Parsa)
- Sesh Raj Dahal (Bhaktapur)
- Dev Narayan Shau (Sunsari)
- Chhedi Prasad Yadav (Saptari)
- Nagendra Prasad Chaudhari (Saptari)
- Top Bahadur Thapa (Kathmandu)
- Basudev Pokhrel (Salyan)
- Ramesh Karki (Morang)
- Daya Shankar Lal Karna (Saptari)
- Sachittananda Dev (Dhanusha)
- Sanjaya Kafle (Morang)