NEW YORK, Dec 17 (APP):Prominent members of the Pakistani community from all walks of life pledged to lend their whole-hearted support to the Pakistan government’s efforts to eradicate polio from the country at a well-attended event hosted by Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi at her residence.
They did so by signing a pledge form of ‘One Last Push’, a non-governmental Organization (NGO) dedicated to wiping out polio, a debilitating disease which mainly affects children.
Tom Vaughan, a director of the NGO, profusely thanked Ambassador Lodhi, Pakistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations, for organizing the get together and those present for signing the pledges that reflects their commitment to see an end to polio.
Vaughan lauded the progress made by the Pakistani government in eliminating polio, noting that there were only five cases last year. But, he added, “We need to stamp it out completely.”
‘One Last Push’ works with the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, a worldwide partnership led by national governments and spearheaded by the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Rotary International and the U.S. Centre for Disease Control, and Prevention (CDC).
Dr. Ijaz Ahmad, head of America-Pakistan Political Action Committee (APPAC), also praised Ambassador Lodhi for the initiative that helped raise awareness of the importance of polio eradication in Pakistan.
The Pakistani community, he said, stood behind the government’s efforts to eradicate the deadly disease.
Ambassador Lodhi thanked the Pakistani community for their support which would help the government in keeping up the momentum.
“We have made great strides in the last three years, from 306 cases in 2014 to 20 last year and only 5 reported so far this year,” Ambassador Lodhi told the gathering.
“This, in no small measure, is due to sacrifices of the men and women undertaking these campaigns in Pakistan.”
The Pakistani added, “This momentum must continue till we completely eradicate polio from our country forever.
“We look forward to a polio free Pakistan soon.”