Despite odds, govt committed to polio eradication: PM

  • Kicks off three-day nationwide drive by administering vaccine to kids
  • Lauds frontline workers, LEAs personnel for achieving objective

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday inaugurated a three-day nationwide anti-polio drive by administering polio drops to children.

In a brief ceremony held here, the prime minister said that a nationwide drive was being started to overcome the resurfacing of the polio cases.

The prime minister said that floods in the summer season had disrupted the national drive, but despite all those difficulties, the polio workers carried out the onus with their hard work and commitment.

He further observed that unfortunately, Pakistan was among the few countries where polio cases had resurfaced.

A few years back, during the government of Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, these cases were completely eradicated, he added.

The prime minister said about 20 cases of polio were reported from Waziristan, but due to consistent efforts, these were restricted and controlled and did not spread to other parts.

The prime minister also lauded those frontline workers and law enforcement agencies personnel who had laid down their lives for achieving the objective and embraced shahadat.

He said that their sacrifices would always be remembered.

“I have the conviction that all the provincial governments, along with the federal government will continue collaborating to eradicate the disease forever,” he added.

The resurfacing of the few cases had certainly raised concerns among the partners including Bill Gates Foundation, World Health Organization (WHO) and other stakeholders, he added.

The prime minister said that during a telephonic conversation, Bill Gates had expressed his commitment to support the government’s efforts to eliminate the disease.

The prime minister also expressed his gratitude to the WHO, stakeholders, related departments, law enforcement personnel and the daughters of the nation for their continuing efforts and commitments.

The prime minister mentioned that he had held meetings with the federal health ministry officials and others, whereas the federal and provincial governments were all supporting these efforts.

He expressed confidence that they would control the disease with collective efforts. Earlier, the prime minister also gave away certificates to the best-performing polio workers.

PM expresses grief over loss of lives in plane crash in Nepal

Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has expressed deep sorrow and grief over the loss of precious lives in the plane crash in Pokhara, Nepal.

In a statement, he said in this difficult and sad time, our sympathies and prayers are with the government of Nepal, the affected families and the people of Nepal.

“May Allah grant the bereaved the courage to endure this trauma with patience and perseverance,” he added.

Countrywide anti-polio campaign

The other hand, the federal government has decided to launch the nationwide anti-polio campaign from Monday (today). According to information, the federal government has completed consultations with the provinces on the nationwide anti-polio campaign. The campaign will be carried out in two phases.

The first phase will be initiated between January 16 to 20 and the second phase will be carried out from 23 to 29. The anti-polio drive will run in Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and four other provinces.

There will be a two-day anti-polio campaign and two days of catch-up campaigns across the country. Over 40 million children will be vaccinated in the national anti-polio campaign, children in the age group of 6 to 59 months will be vaccinated with Vitamin A and the aim of Vitamin A vaccination is to improve the immunity of children.

The target for anti-polio vaccination of 20.42 million children in Punjab, 9.35 million children in Sindh and 6.9 million children in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been set.

In Balochistan, 2.53 million children, in Azad Kashmir 0.25 million children, in Gilgit-Baltistan 0.35 million children will be vaccinated against the crippling disease, while 335,387 front-line workers will take part in the national anti-polio campaign.



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