Rotary International pledges to continue support for Pakistan toward polio eradication

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APP47-07 ISLAMABAD: December 07 – President Rotary International, Ian Riseley called on Prime Minister's Focal Person For Polio Eradication, Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq. APP

ISLAMABAD, Dec 7 (APP):Prime Minister’s Focal Person for Polio Eradication, Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq on Thursday, thanked the continuing support of Rotary International in the fight against polio.
“Our goal is nothing short of achieving eradication and we are vigilantly and proactively identifying the remaining gaps and addressing them under the fully functional network of Emergency Operation Centres,” said Senator Farooq.
At a meeting with the visiting President of Rotary International, Ian H.S. Riseley and his delegation today at the National Emergency Operations Centre, Senator Farooq said the dedicated frontline health workers Sehat Muhafiz and supportive communities have brought us very close to the finish line in the fight against polio.
Updating Rotary’s delegation on the situation of polio eradication in Pakistan, the Prime Minister’s Focal Person noted that in spite of the progress achieved so far in reducing the number of children paralysed by polio, the virus continues to be detected in the environment in Karachi, Quetta Block, Peshawar and the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. “Therefore, any unvaccinated child remains vulnerable unless we ensure all children gets polio drops every time as Sehat Muhafiz visits their area.”
Pakistan’s government leadership is fully committed to the implementation of the National Emergency Action Plan via the national and provincial Emergency Operations Centers, with emphasis on evidence-based decision making, a “one-team” approach, front-line workers at the center of the polio eradication effort, effective oversight of performance management and accountability, and a commitment to coordinate with Afghanistan to reach and vaccinate high-risk groups”, Senator Ayesha added.
President of Rotary International, Ian H.S. Riseley said “Scientifically driven decision making with robust management and accountability mechanism shows that Pakistan is well on course to polio eradication and Rotary will extend continued support till the end of this mission. Together we will be able to make it across the finish line.”
“The current polio epidemiology remains the best we have ever seen in the country. The number of cases has declined from 306 in 2014 to 53 in 2015, and to 20 in 2016. So far, this year, the number of polio cases reported in Pakistan are six as compared to 19 reported by 7th December in 2016.”
National Polio Chair Polioplus Committee Pakistan Aziz Memon assured that every possible support will be extended to programme toward the finish line. “Soon Rotary will be installing more water filtration plants in high risk areas of Karachi to help improve sanitation services and enhance the immunity of children against the poliovirus and waterborne diseases”.
Rotary delegation which included District Governor Faiza Qamar, PDG Faiz Kidwai, PDG Saaed Shamsi, PDG Dr Pervez Ahsan Khan, PAG Masrur J. Scheikh, PAG Tayyaba Gul, PPs Waseem Malik and Saaeda Rehman was given a briefing about polio control room.