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Karzai vows every effort to eradicate polio

29 September, 2012

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KABUL: President Hamid Karzai has said his government would make every effort possible with available resources to completely eradicate polio from Afghanistan.

Karzai was addressing a gathering "Our Commitment to the Next Generation: The Legacy of a Polio-free World" a high-level event on polio eradication held this week in the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York.

The event brought together leaders of the remaining endemic countries, donor governments, development agencies, spearheading partners and representatives of the media, to draw attention to the urgent need for focus and commitment to eradicate the remaining one percent of polio cases worldwide.

In his address to the gathering, Karzai said though great progress had been achieved with regard to eliminating the crippling child disease, yet tireless efforts were required to completely purge his country from the menace.

The President said Afghanistan valued the ongoing efforts by international individuals, including Software magnate and philanthropist Bill Gates, to help spearhead a global campaign to eradicate polio.

Gates hopes that by 2015 no child in the world will be paralyzed by the disease and by 2018 polio will be wiped out.

Afghanistan is among the only three countries where the polio virus has not been stopped.

Karzai said his government had left no stone unturned in fighting the disease and would continue to do so within available resources.

Rotary International has made a new funding commitment of US$75 million over three years to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI).

Rotary, which has already contributed nearly id="mce_marker".2 billion to the GPEI, announced the commitment at the September 27 high-level side event on polio eradication, convened by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Ban urged UN member states to ramp up their support for the GPEI, launched in 1988 by Rotary, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"This decisive moment is a matter of health and justice. Every child should have the right to start life with equal protection from this disease. That's why I have made eradicating polio a top priority for my second term as Secretary-General," said Ban.

End.

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