LAHORE, Oct 31 (APP): Punjab CM’s Advisor on Health Khawaja Salman Rafique on Saturday paid rich tribute to Rotary International for its contribution in the eradication of polio from Pakistan.
Speaking as guest of honour at a seminar to commemorate ‘World Polio Day’ in Punjab organized by Rotary International at a local hotel, he thanked Rotary for providing containers at Permanent Transit Points at strategic routes linking Punjab with other province.
He said Rotary’s volunteers were always present in the remotest corners of the province.
He said, “I salute Rotary for their contribution to polio eradication efforts in the country.
They have made enormous contribution to the programme through their voluntary work.” He said Pakistan has made great progress over the last two years and Punjab is leading the efforts through innovations like E-vaccs with the support from PITB and the progress has been appreciated by the international organizations in meetings in the UAE and London recently.
He said in the last two years, Punjab’s routine immunization has reached above 74 percent and by the end of this year, the target is to take to above 80 percent.
Rotary’s National Chair of Polio Plus Committee Aziz Memon briefed the audience about the challenges the lunteers faced and contributions of Rotary in other provinces as well.
He said polio was a national cause and Rotary takes this as their national responsibility urging all to come forward. He appreciated the commitment of the provincial government towards the cause of polio eradication.
Rotary’s District Governor Sajid Bhatti highlighted the contribution of Rotary’s volunteers at PTPs and in high-risk districts where polio awareness sessions are a regular feature.
The World Polio Day is annually observed on October 24 to commemorate the fight against polio and pay tribute to Jonas Salk, American medical researcher and virologist who led the first team that developed a vaccine against poliomyelitis.
The completion of polio eradication is followed as programmatic emergency in global health sphere.
The World Polio Day is commemorated on 24th October, but due to Ashura, the date was put forward to October 31. Director General Health Services Punjab Dr. Zahid Pervaiz, representatives from UNICEF, WHO, Gates Foundation, renowned paediatricians from across Punjab and notable Rotarians from around the country attended the event.