No polio case in Pakistan in last 10 months, PM informed

Thursday, Nov 25, 2021

By News Desk

ISLAMABAD: In the last 10 months, no case of the wild polio virus (WPV1) was reported in Pakistan compared with 84 in the year 2020, the meeting of the National Task Force for Polio Eradication informed the Prime Minister on Wednesday.

The meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, highlighted that Pakistan had achieved tremendous success against polio.

The meeting was attended by Special Assistant on health Dr Faisal Sultan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Shah Farman, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, Gilgit Baltistan Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid, Balochistan health minister Ehsan Shah, AJK Prime Minister Abdul Qayyum Niazi, Engineer-in-Chief Pakistan Army Lt-Gen Moazzam Ejaz, all chief secretaries, senior representatives of WHO, Unicef, CDC, Gavi, Rotary International, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and government officials.

The Prime Minister lauded the efforts of provincial health departments and district administration in taking effective measures against polio. He thanked the international partners — WHO, Unicef, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Rotary International and Gavi for their financial and technical support for polio eradication campaigns in Pakistan.

The Prime Minister emphasised that low-transmission in the winter season was the critical time to immunise children and that “we all should fight against the virus with killer instincts”. The Prime Minister said the international community should come forward to help Afghanistan in the fight against polio and to avert any kind of humanitarian crisis.

He ordered Pakistani officials to synchronise other immunisation programs with polio campaigns in order to achieve maximum coverage and effective results.

The task force was informed that the main source of wild poliovirus was Afghanistan, that ended up in Pakistan due to the migration of refugees. It was also told that Pakistan would qualify for WHO’s “Polio Free” certificate after 36 months of zero incidences.

Representatives of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Azad Jammu & Kashmir governments apprised the Task Force of the updated status of polio eradication measures.

The Engineer-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army apprised the Task Force of the security protection provided to the polio immunisation teams working in the field. The representatives of international partner organisations thanked the Prime Minister for leading the polio eradication campaign and providing support.

They expressed full confidence in the government and committed to working in partnership for this global cause.