ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan was informed Wednesday that Pakistan has achieved tremendous success against polio as from 84 reported cases of Wild Polio Virus (WPV1) cases in the year 2020, the incidence has come down to no case in the last ten months.
In this context, Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a meeting of the National Task Force for Polio Eradication, which was informed that the main source of Wild Polio Virus is Afghanistan that ends up in Pakistan due to migration of refugees.
PM Imran appreciated efforts by provincial health departments and districts' administration in effective measures against polio. The Task Force approved the National Emergency Action Plan for next two years (2022-23).
The prime minister also thanked international partners including WHO, UNICEF, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Rotary International, Gavi for their financial and technical support for polio eradication campaigns in Pakistan. He emphasised that the low-transmission winter season is the critical time for immunization of children and that ‘we should all fight against the virus with killer – instincts’.
The prime minister said that the international community should come forward to help Afghanistan in the fight against polio and to avert any kind of humanitarian crisis. He directed that other immunization programmes should also be synchronized with polio campaigns in order to achieve maximum coverage and effective results.
The Polio Eradication Task Force was apprised that PC-I amounting to $798.6 million for years 2022-2026, including foreign funding and the government of Pakistan share has been finalised and is ready for approval. Moreover, National Emergency Action Plan (NEAP) 2022-2023 is also ready for approval.
It was apprised that Pakistan would qualify for WHO’s ‘Polio Free’ certificate after completion of 36 months of zero incidence. Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir governments apprised the Task Force about updated status of polio eradication measures. Engineer-in-Chief Pakistan Army apprised the Task Force regarding security protection provided to the polio immunization teams working in the field.