Polio eradication national imperative: Ayesha Raza

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APP27-13 ATLANTA: June 13 - Prime Minister's Focal Person for Polio Eradication, Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq participating in Global Forum on Polio at Atlanta in USA. APP

ISLAMABAD, Jun 13 (APP): Prime Minister’s Focal Person for
Polio Eradication Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq Tuesday said Polio
eradication has become our national imperative and most importantly
enjoys broad political and popular support.
She was addressing global leaders at Drop to Zero – Global
Pledging event for Polio Eradication in Atlanta, USA, said a press
release received here.
She said led personally by our Prime Minister, a whole of
government effort with effective GPEI support has proven decisive.
“Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has made a commitment to a polio-free
world for the current and future generations of Pakistani children,
we have absolutely no intention of letting them and the children of
the world down”, said Senator Ayesha.
This is backed up by a direct financial contribution of US$154
million and substantial indirect contribution of $100 million is
made each year in Government and security infrastructure and time,
she added.
Ayesha said our National Emergency Action Plan for Polio
Eradication is clearly delivering results – to clear the polio
reservoirs, respond aggressively to any outbreak and maintain high
population immunity elsewhere.
There are no magic solutions, just extraordinary hard work
with a focus on the basics of vaccination to ensure success by our
heroic vaccinators on the doorstep and inside each home.
She said today, there are no longer any children inaccessible
to the programme.
Ayesha said campaign quality has strengthened and we have expanded
surveillance to reduce the risk of any missed transmission.
Senator Ayesha thanked all donors and partners for their continued
support towards this public health milestone for children.
The event was participated by Mr. Bill Gates co-chair of the
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of
International Development of Canada, John Germ, President, Rotary
International, Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director, National Primary
Healthcare Development Agency of Nigeria, Takashi Shinozuka, Consul
General of Japan in Atlanta, Neven Mimica, Commissioner for
International Cooperation and Development, European Commission
HamdullahMohib, Ambassador to the United States, Afghanistan, Anne
Schuchat, Acting Director, Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, Michel Zaffran, Director, Polio Eradication, World
Health Organization.
The Global Forum was informed that since the Global Polio
Eradication Initiative was launched in 1988, polio cases around the
world have dropped by 99.9%. In 1988, polio paralyzed 40 children
every hour, resulting in more than 350,000 cases each year across
125 countries.
To date in 2017, there have been just five cases of polio
anywhere in the world, fewer than in any previous year.
These cases have been confined to small areas in Afghanistan
and Pakistan. Nigeria has not reported a new polio case since August
2016. Polio is on the verge of becoming only the second human
disease after smallpox to be eradicated.
There has been continued progress in Afghanistan and Pakistan,
as both countries work together to ensure that more children are
reached with polio vaccines.