Pakistan at excellent momentum to end polio, Southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa the last front
by NewsDesk Lord, save her
Pakistan is enjoying excellent momentum to end polio
There is unprecedented support and commitment Ending polio in Pakistan by 2023With the current momentum continuing, the country will be able to halt transmission in the coming year, concluded a high-level global polio delegation concluding its visit to the country last week.
The delegation was led by the Chairman of the Polio Monitoring Board, Dr. Chris Elias, the WHO Regional Director, Dr. Ahmed Al-Mandhari, and the UNICEF Regional Director, George Laria Adji.
“The last steps to end polio are the hardest, but eradication is within reach thanks to the hard work happening in Pakistan,” said Dr. Ilyas.
“During my three-day visit, I was once again impressed by the determination of the government and society, especially the frontline workers, to ensure that polio is eradicated once and for all,” he added. “Reaching every child during upcoming polio campaigns and strengthening the routine immunization system is now critical to success.”
The Polio Oversight Board is the highest decision-making body of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. This is the second visit of the delegation together to Pakistan this year. The previous visit was in May after discovering a case of polio in Pakistan after nearly 15 months. The latest visit follows the destruction of many health facilities and mass displacement due to catastrophic floods, which have increased the risk of polio transmission.
WHO Regional Director Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari reiterated that Pakistan is in the “final stage” on the road to eradication.
“Progress this year positions well for the country to end all poliovirus transmission in 2023. However, ensuring our goal is met will require sustained political and administrative commitment through 2023, the year of elections and political transition,” he said. “With our regional vision of health for all and by all, we all have a role to play in eradicating polio through our collective solidarity and action.”
UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia George Lariya Adji said Pakistan’s success in containing the spread of polio through joint efforts by the government, donors, frontline health workers and partners is truly commendable.
“Recent floods have exacerbated health risks for millions of children, especially those living in areas that have historically been at risk of polio, so we must redouble efforts to engage parents and caregivers to protect these children,” he said. “The end of polio is near, and we must now go the last mile to ensure that every child is protected from this debilitating disease.”
During the visit, the delegation met with the Prime Minister, Federal Minister of Health, Engineer General of the Pakistan Army and the Chief Governments of the provinces of Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh, and reaffirmed their support to help Pakistan end poliovirus transmission by 2023.
South of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the last front
Addressing a global delegation on polio, Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said the end is in sight for polio eradication, as the virus has been successfully contained in a few districts in southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
“We are aware that South KP is the last frontier. If we can defeat the virus here, we can ensure polio eradication in Pakistan,” he said at the meeting on Thursday.
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