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Women to be hired for polio eradication plan in Bajaur

KHAR (Web Desk) The United Nations Children Fund (Unicef) has planned to hire female staff for its polio eradication activities in Bajaur Agency, according to sources. They said that according to the notification sent to local health department by Unicef few days ago, at least 60 female staffers including community mobilisers and social mobilisers would be hired anti-polio activities across the agency.

Sources said that the process of hiring the staffers was likely to start within next three to five days. They said that Unicef had directed its local health communication support officer to complete the process by the end of July.Sources said that that the move was meant to strengthen polio eradication programme. They said that most of the existing male staffers of polio eradication programme were likely to lose their jobs after appointment of female staffers.

Rafiq Ahmed Khan, the agency health communication support officer of Unicef, when contacted, said that the decision was taken in line with the directives of senior officials of Uniceif during a meeting held in Islamabad few days ago.Mr Khan said that total 62 female staff would be appointed in Bajaur. He said that arrangements were almost finalised for appointment of female staff. He added that test and interview of candidates would be started on July 28.

The official said that call letters for test and interview were already issued to a number of candidates. He said that all the existing male staff of polio eradication programme in Bajaur would be replaced by female staff after completion of the selection process. “It will be also replicated in other tribal agencies,” he added.

Mr Khan said that the move was aimed at improving community mobilisation programme in the region.However, a number of people working with the Unicef-funded polio eradication mobilisation programme expressed concerns over the decision. They feared that inclusion of female staff would affect anti-polio vaccination in Bajaur Agency.They demanded of the senior officials of Unicef and director health services Fata to revise the proposed plan.

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