Donors, partners briefed on Pakistan's polio eradication efforts

10:00 AM, 21 Apr, 2024
Donors, partners briefed on Pakistan's polio eradication efforts

ISLAMABAD: At a briefing session organized by the National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) for Polio Eradication, Pakistan reiterated its commitment to eradicate the crippling disease from the country, stressing the need for sustained support by donors and partner organizations investing in the Polio Eradication Initiative (PEI) here.

Dr. Malik Mukhtar Ahmad Bharath, Coordinator to the Prime Minister on National Health Services Regulations and Coordination, presided over the briefing as the chief guest.

The event was attended by Federal Health Secretary Nadeem Mahboob, representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF, Trustee Rotary Foundation and Pakistan National Polio Plus Committee Chairman Aziz Memon, as well as delegates from various donor agencies.

Reiterating Pakistan's commitment to global public health, Dr. Bharath underscored the substantial progress achieved against polio spread with the assistance of partners and donors. However, he acknowledged the persistent detection of polio cases, stressing the need for continued efforts to safeguard every child against the disease.

Health Secretary Nadeem Mahboob echoed Dr. Bharath's sentiments, affirming the Health Ministry's support for the Polio Programme. He thanked the donors and partner agencies for their role in improving Pakistan's healthcare infrastructure and protecting children from preventable diseases.

Dr. Shahzad Baig, NEOC Coordinator, spoke about the current epidemiological situation, challenges, and future strategies of the Polio Programme. He called for intensifying vaccination campaigns, improving border vaccination efforts, and involving the community in the anti-polio efforts.

Representatives of WHO, UNICEF, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Rotary International, and various other donor agencies reiterated their commitment to supporting Pakistan's polio eradication struggle. They emphasized the importance of collective action and sustained support to ensure the preservation of progress made so far.

In his closing remarks, UNICEF Representative in Pakistan Abdullah Fadil and WHO Representative in Pakistan Dr. Luo Dapeng emphasized the importance of ongoing support from partner and donor agencies in achieving the shared goal of polio eradication.