Pakistan

Polio Oversight Board hails Punjab govt for its effective anti-polio drive

Provincial Minister for Health Dr. Yasmin Rashid and the Chief Secretary Punjab held an important meeting with a delegation of Polio Oversight Board (POB) at the Civil Secretariat and discussed with the participants the current and future strategy for complete eradication of polio from Pakistan, especially Punjab. The delegation appreciated Punjab government for its effective anti-polio drive and termed them as exemplary.

Secretary Primary and Secondary Healthcare Sarah Aslam and Additional Secretary Coordination Sundas Irshad were present on the occasion. The delegation comprised POB Chairperson Dr Chris Elias, Dr Jay Wenger, WHO Polio Eradication Director Dr Hamid Jafari, Mr Aidan O’Leary, Mr Micheal Galway, Dr Shahzad Baig, Dr Altaf Bosan, Dr Zainal Abidin, Mr Hamish Young and representatives of the provincial EOC team, UNICEF and Rotary Provincial.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Yasmin Rashid said that in line with the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan and Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Bazdar, the provincial government is determined to make Punjab polio free and all resources are being used for eradication of the disease from the province. She thanked the World Health Organization and UNICEF for their cooperation in polio eradication efforts in Punjab.

Dr. Yasmin Rashid said that the targets are achieved by forming thousands of teams during the anti-polio campaign. She mentioned that coronavirus is a new challenge for the whole world and the provincial government is effectively countering it along with dengue and polio. She said that the administration in Punjab is making the anti-polio campaign a success. She said that children would be saved from falling victim to polio. She said that the role of lady health workers in the anti-polio campaigns is very important, adding that for the first time in history such a large number of doctors have been recruited and for the first time mail nurses have been recruited in Punjab.

The Chief Secretary Punjab said that eradication of polio is a national cause for which Punjab is playing its due role. He said that all the stakeholders are working together for the eradication of the deadly disease and full protection is being provided to the polio teams. He said that efforts have been intensified for the eradication of polio in the province and the anti-polio drive would be continued under a fully integrated strategy.

Dr. Chris Elias, the Chairperson, Polio Oversight Board, said that he appreciated the efforts of Health Minister Dr. Yasmin Rashid and the administration for the eradication of polio in Punjab. “We want a complete eradication of polio in the next five-year plan,” he concluded.

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