Qadir Patel visits Polio Emergency Centre

ISLAMABAD, May 31 (APP): Federal Minister for Health, Abdul Qadir Patel on Tuesday visited the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) and met the team members leading polio eradication efforts in the country.

Addressing the occasion, the minister said, “It is a pleasure to see such a professionally run institution in Pakistan. This visit was a great opportunity to engage with staff members of the polio eradication programme and understand the highly complex challenges that persist.”

He said,” We need open conversations and continued engagement to reach the end of polio in Pakistan. Polio is a distant memory in most parts of the world and it must become a disease of the past in Pakistan too.”

Patel said, “Our goal is to reach every last child with the polio vaccine and ensure a polio-free world for our future generations.”

Earlier this month, the health minister visited Bannu to meet the families of the children affected by wild polio.

“Polio eradication is among our highest priorities and at this time it is crucial to amplify our efforts and reach the end of polio in Pakistan,” Secretary Health said.

“We can no longer harbour a disease that paralyses our children when we can save them with a very simple and safe vaccine,” Special Secretary Iftikhar Shalwani added.

The Minister and Secretaries appreciated the live surveillance of the polio programme during their visit to the Polio Control Room.

While providing a programme overview, NEOC Coordinator, Dr Shahzad Baig acknowledged the continued support of the government for polio eradication efforts.

“With all stakeholders committed to polio eradication and continued oversight from the most senior federal leadership, I am certain that we will be able to make Pakistan polio-free.”

This year, six children have been paralyzed by polio in North Waziristan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.