Rice exporter’s vows to boost health standards in rice farmers

ISLAMABAD– Rice exporters on Sunday has vowed to boost the health standards and high quality of life of rice farmers for maintaining efficiency and productivity in the agriculture sector.

Rice farmers play a leading role in the country s agricultural production and earning foreign exchange, Chief Operating Officer of rice exporter group, Rice Partners Pvt Ltd, Muhammad Ali Tariq said.

He said that “We organized a preventive vaccination campaign for the agricultural families including rice transplanters for the different regions of Central Punjab to protect them from epidemics.” Rice Partners (Pvt) Ltd (RPL) in collaboration with Helvetas Pakistan organized a preventive vaccination campaign for rice transplanter s families in three villages namely Kot Hanif, Khatyala Virkan and Saikham of different district of Punjab including Sheikhupura, Muhammad Ali Tariq said.

He said that approximately 200 persons participated in the campaign.

Ali Tariq said that RPL was working for betterment of farmers and farm laborers from past many years through provision of laser land leveling, trainings on water saving techniques, and ensuring decent working conditions for rice transplanters and their children by establishing Community Child care Centres, distribution of food packs and backpack canopy kits.

He said that we try our best to improve the livelihood of the farmers. So far about 28,000 farmers are trained by RPL.

The Project Officer RPL Rizwan Ali said that the “Preventive Vaccination Campaign” is the component of improving the health of rice transplants and their children.

Chanda Mukhtar from Punjab Health Department delivered a lecture on the importance of vaccination of children and expectant women.

She said that two drops of polio can save children from permanent disability so every child under the age of 5 should get a polio vaccine every time through the government polio campaign.

In case of missing, they can get drops at their nearest government health center. She also threw light on “The Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) of Pakistan.

She said that EPI was launched in 1978 in Pakistan to protect children by immunizing them against childhood tuberculosis, poliomyelitis, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus and measles.

Later, with the support of development partners, a number of new vaccines e.g. hepatitis B, haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and pneumococcal vaccine (PCV10) were introduced in 2002, 2009 and 2012, and inactivated polio vaccine in 2015, respectively.

She asked the parents that they should take in EPI and get a vaccine for their children from birth to 15 months free of cost from the nearest government health department.

The key objective of the campaign was to sensitize the rice transplanters about the significance of polio drops and EPI. Head Sustainability RPL, Zafar Iqbal and participated in the campaign and took part in the walk.