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October 24, 2020

‘Govt to make country polio-free’

Top Story

October 24, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Today, as the world commemorates World Polio Day, Pakistan reaffirms its commitment to eradicating polio and making the country polio-free.

The World Polio Day is marked on October 24 every year. This year’s theme is “Awin against polio is a win for global health” acknowledging that after 30 years of global hard work, humanity is very close to achieving the goal of having a polio-free world. With a victory of Africa certified as polio-free, Afghanistan and Pakistan remain the last to join the globe. At this crucial moment of time, the world highlights that as long as polio exists anywhere, it will remain a threat everywhere.

In his message on World Polio Day, which coincides with the launch of another anti-polio campaign, PM’s Special Assistant on Health Dr Faisal Sultan acknowledges the importance of eradicating polio for global health. He said “Government is fully committed to making Pakistan polio-free forever. It is absolutely necessary that children receive this life-saving vaccine and I request all parents to allow polio teams to administer polio drops to their children, I am confident, together with our people and international partners, we will achieve our target of making a safer, healthier and polio-free Pakistan for our children”.

The Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme will launch a sub-national polio eradication campaign from October 26 to November 1 to vaccinate more than 30 million children under the age of five in 128 districts across Pakistan. The campaign will include 33 districts of Punjab, 33 districts of Balochistan, 41 districts of Sindh, 8 districts of Gilgit-Baltistan, 10 districts of AJK and one district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. During this campaign more than 210,000 frontline workers will go door-to-door to protect children from this crippling disease. The vaccinators will continue to adhere to stringent COVID-19 SOPs as they did in the campaigns conducted in July, August and September.

According to Dr Rana Safdar, coordinator of the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) of the Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme, “While we may have not achieved zero cases, the Pakistan Polio Programme has been able to secure the future of millions of children by continued vaccination. Despite multiple challenges, our frontline workers remain committed and are the real heroes. Today, on World Polio Day, we are celebrating and recognising their achievements,” Dr Rana Safdar said.

“World’s eyes are focused on Pakistan and the government is committed to eradicating polio virus from the country. Now it’s up to the parents and society as a whole to vaccinate their children and open doors to frontline workers to get rid of not only the polio but all other vaccine preventable diseases,” Dr Safdar added.