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Swine Flu (H1N1) can Become a Major Political Crisis Instead of a Health Crisis by October 2009, Amir Jahangir
Date:8/10/2009

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SAMAA TV, in joint collaboration with, UNICEF Pakistan and the Ministry of Health was the first media channel in Pakistan to establish the Polio Control Cell aimed at acting as an information bridge between the citizens and the polio control authorities. The Cell, first of its kind provided instant information on the initiative to callers in the length and breadth of the country besides performing the vital task of identifying missed areas and children. Since its establishment in October 2008, more than 50,000 children have been ensured the vaccination against the polio virus, who otherwise would have been included as the missed targets during the campaigns. The Polio Control Cell has also received high acknowledgement at the international forums, where Mr. Bill Gates, Co-chair and Trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation and the Director General World Health Organization, Dr. M. Chan has applauded the SAMAA model as "The Pakistan Model" and called it a benchmark to be replicated in other epidemic developing countries. The model has also been commended at the Stanford University as one of the prime Innovation Journalism case studies at the 6th Innovation Journalism Conference held in May 2009.

Chief Executive Officer of SAMAA TV, Mr. Amir Jahangir also said "Media, particularly radio and television stations, play a critical role in reaching downtrodden rural population. The media may also exert pressure on those in charge to act rapidly and efficiently."

He further added "A key to good communication is the early release of information for the masses; such communication initiates a process of trust which is maintained by absolute transparency. In this age of instant global communication, it is impossible to hide information."

In April 2009, the VINNOVA-Stanford Research Center of Innovation Journalism honored Mr. Amir Jahangir as the Program Advisor to the Research Center on Global Media
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Swine Flu (H1N1) can Become a Major Political Crisis Instead of a Health Crisis by October 2009, Amir Jahangir
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