–Global Vaccine Alliance praises Pakistan’s efforts for polio ‘eradication’
KARACHI: The first polio case of the year in Sindh was confirmed by authorities on Wednesday.
A seven-month-old girl from Sindh’s Tando Allahyar district contracted the poliovirus on January 7, said the Emergency Operation Centre for Polio in Sindh. According to her parents, she had received three doses of the polio vaccine during campaigns and routine immunisation.
The spokesperson for the EOC Sindh said the long gap in door to door campaigns in 2019 has created a large pool of vulnerable children.
A polio case response campaign was conducted in January in Sindh from January 13 to 20, and the national immunisation day will be held on February 17. Another is planned for April.
In Balochistan, the victim was an 18-month-old girl from Qilla Abdullah. She had received three doses of the polio vaccine. According to health authorities, her family used to live in Okara, Punjab earlier.
The latest figures show that including last year’s cases, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has reported 93 polio cases, Sindh 24, Balochistan 12 and Punjab eight.
“The current risk to our children is very real and while it is our job to deliver these vaccines at the doorstep, caregivers must also step up and protect their children through vaccinations,” said the National EOC.
Last year, 136 polio cases were reported across the country.
PAKISTAN’S EFFORTS FOR POLIO ERADICATION LAUDED:
Global Vaccine Alliance (Gavi) Chief Executive Officer Seth Berkley has acknowledged measures taken by the government of Pakistan for the eradication of poliovirus from the country.
The appreciation comes during his meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan on the sidelines of World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos on Wednesday, according to an official statement.
Berkley also assured Gavi’s support and cooperation to PM Imran.
The premier apprised the Gavi CEO of the government’s policy reforms for strengthening the health sector in Pakistan.
He also appreciated continuous support extended by Gavi to Pakistan to protect children against deadly but preventable diseases.
PM Imran said that Pakistan became the first country in the world to introduce typhoid vaccine in its Routine Immunisation schedule.
He also highlighted the government’s efforts to eradicate polio from the country and to achieve the goal of Universal Immunisation Coverage. He further informed Berkley that the government was streamlining financing mechanism of Routine Immunisation programme.