Crippling disease: ‘Pakistan still has polio virus sanctuaries’

Published: January 29, 2016
Ayesha Raza Farooq. PHOTO:

Ayesha Raza Farooq. PHOTO:

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Polio Eradication Ayesha Raza Farooq has called for determined campaign to eradicate polio virus from the country.

While chairing a review meeting of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for polio eradication and supporting partners here on Thursday, she cautioned that the risk to Pakistan spanned beyond these areas.

She said determined focus to administer polio drops for every missed child was critical to ensure that the virus did not survive and spread.

Farooq was confident that major progress will be achieved in fighting polio during the current year.

The group Chairman Jean Marc Olivé commended the polio eradication programme.

“It is clear that accessibility is no longer a barrier to interruption,” he said addeing that the job was not finished, which needed continuous support of the security forces.

Olive said that the hardest part will be maintaining the gains, and further improving operations in the key areas. “We still need to improve surveillance in certain areas,” he said.

National Emergency Operations Centre Coordinator Dr Rana Safdar acknowledged that the next four months were critical in stopping transmission.

The group will hear in-depth analysis from the provincial teams before delivering their recommendations to the government.

Health secretary Ayub Sheikh said, “We have started the new year with the resolve to move with determination towards the targets set.”

Published in The Express Tribune, January 29th, 2016.

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