Polio is a distant memory in most parts of the world and it must become a disease of the past in Pakistan too. Our goal is to reach every last child with the polio vaccine and ensure a polio-free world for our future generations.

‘Polio must become disease of the past in Pakistan too’

The Minister for Health Abdul Qadir Patel affirmed Pakistan’s commitment to polio eradication with the above remarks during a visit to the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) here on Tuesday. He was accompanied by Secretary Health Aamir Ashraf Khawaja, who was later in the day removed from the post and asked to report to the Establishment Division, and Special Secretary Iftikhar Shalwani.

“It is a pleasure to see such a professionally run the institution. This visit was a great opportunity to engage with staff members of the polio programme and understand the complex challenges that persist. We need open conversations and continued engagement to reach the end of Polio disease in Pakistan,” said Patel, who visited Bannu early this month to meet the families of children affected by 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,” said Aamir Ashraf. Agreeing, Iftikhar Shalwani added, “We can no longer harbour a disease that paralyses our children when we can save them with a very simple and safe vaccine.”

The minister and secretaries appreciated the live surveillance of the polio programme. Presenting an overview, NEOC’s Coordinator Dr. Shahzad Baig said, “With all stakeholders committed to polio eradication and continued oversight from the most senior federal leadership, I am certain that will be able to make Pakistan polio-free.” This year, six children have thus far been paralysed by polio in North Waziristan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

Source: This news is originally published by thenews

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