PEI organizes briefing for donors


ISLAMABAD, Apr 19 (APP): The National Emergency Operations Center for Polio Eradication on Friday apprised the donors on the progress of polio eradication efforts in the country.

In this regard a briefing was organized for the donors and partner organizations supporting the Pakistan Polio Eradication Initiative (PEI).

Coordinator to the Prime Minister on National Health Services Regulations and Coordination Dr Malik Mukhtar Ahmad Bharath was the chief guest, while Federal Health Secretary Nadeem Mahboob, country representatives of WHO and UNICEF, Trustee Rotary Foundation and Pakistan National Polio Plus Committee Chairman Aziz Memon, and representatives from donor agencies attended the briefing.

Dr Bharath said that Pakistan is committed to fulfilling its obligations under global public health and eradicating polio to make the dream of a polio-free world a reality.

Highlighting the Polio Programme’s progress, he said, “With the support of our valued partners and donors we are running the largest polio eradication programme in the world backed by an extensive poliovirus surveillance network and modern lab.

“Yet we continue to detect cases, which means we still have a lot more work to do to ensure that every child is protected,” he said.

Dr Bharath said: “The strong commitment and dedication of our partner agencies and donors has been crucial in bringing us this close to polio eradication.”

“I hope that this support continues as Pakistan positions itself to interrupt poliovirus transmission this year.”

Secretary Health Nadeem Mahboob said that the Health Ministry was providing full support to the Polio Programme as it endeavors to reach every child with the vaccine.

“I extend my profound gratitude to our donors and partner agencies for their commitment to the wellbeing of Pakistan’s children and support for strengthening health systems,” he said.

NEOC Coordinator Dr Shahzad Baig gave a briefing on the current epidemiological situation, progress, challenges and needs.

He highlighted that in the coming months, the programme will focus on intensifying vaccination rounds, strengthening vaccination at the border and reaching communities with health services to create goodwill and trust.

Dr Baig facilitated a discussion with the guests with the aim of strengthening collaborative efforts in the mission of polio eradication.

Representatives from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) partner agencies, including WHO and UNICEF, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Rotary International, US-CDC, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Canadian High Commission, Asian Development Bank, Australian High Commission, French Development Bank, US-AID, KFW, and Qatar Charity graced the occasion and reaffirmed their commitment to supporting Pakistan in its journey to eradicate polio.

Speaking on behalf of UNICEF Representative in Pakistan Abdullah Fadil and Ms Melissa Corkum, UNICEF National Polio Team Lead said, “We have made clear progress towards stopping polio.”

“But even one polio case is a public health crisis and threatens to undo our years of hard work. If there was ever a time where we need to re-ignite our collective efforts, to be strong and united as partners, it is now.”

Dr Luo Dapeng, WHO Representative in Pakistan said, “An investment in polio eradication makes a huge difference to children not just in Pakistan, but the world.

“As we move closer to polio eradication in Pakistan, it is critical that the ongoing support of partner and donor agencies continues so that the gains we have made can remain in place and we cross the finish line.”

APP Services