Even single polio case be taken seriously till complete eradication: PM

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ISLAMABAD, Aug 25 (APP): Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan
Abbasi Friday said that even a single case of polio in the
country should be taken seriously and no effort should be
spared to ensure complete eradication of the disease from the
entire country.
While chairing a meeting of National Task Force on Polio
Eradication, the prime minister reiterated firm commitment of
the Government to rid the country from the polio
The prime minister said, “High mobility rates and
existence of polio reservoirs across the border are among the
major challenges facing complete elimination of polio, but we
are fully determined to overcome them.”
While briefing the meeting about the progress on the
efforts for polio eradication, Prime Minister’s Focal Person
on Polio Eradication, Ayesha Raza Farooq said that 206 cases
were reported in the country during 2014, but due to the
consistent efforts of the present government and support from
international partners, provincial governments, armed forces
and law enforcement agencies, polio incidents had been
significantly reduced.
However, in 2017, only three cases had been reported so
far, she added.
She said that 38 million children were vaccinated during
previous campaign and the Independent Monitoring Board had
termed Pakistan’s Polio Eradication Program as one of the best
efforts in the world.
The meeting was informed that no polio case had been
reported from FATA since July 2016. Similarly, Karachi and
interior Sindh have also remained polio free since February
2016 and November 2016 respectively.
Minister for National Health Services Saira Afzal Tarar
informed that an emergency program was initiated in 2013 and
that potential areas including Karachi, Quetta and rural
Balochistan were being especially focused on to ensure that
the virus was effectively checked and eliminated.
The prime minister appreciated the role played by
provincial governments, FATA administration and governments of
AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan in implementation of the National
Polio Eradication program.
Prime Minister Abbasi further stressed that routine
immunization for polio should be further strengthened and
assured full cooperation from the federal government.
Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, Chief
Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah, PM AJK, CM Gilgit
Baltistan and representatives of Punjab and Balochistan also
briefed the meeting and expressed their full commitment to the
program.
The meeting was attended by Chairman Technical Advisory
Group Dr. Jean Marc Olive, Country Representative UNICEF
Angela Kearny, Team Leader UNICEF Dr. John Agbor and other
representatives of international organizations.