PESHAWAR: Tribal districts’ polio programme has made unprecedented progress despite many odds which needs to be maintained until the virus was eradicated and the eradication certified, said International Monitoring Board (IMB) Member Fredrek Were on Saturday.
Were stated that the coordination with the neighbouring country Afghanistan, vaccination of children and surveillance efforts were at its best but tempo must be continued so that the crippling virus was rooted out from the region.
He said this during a meeting at Emergency Operations Cente (EOC) for tribal districts. Coordinator EOC Tribal Districts Mahmood Aslam Wazir informed Were about progress made so far and the unprecedented milestone achieved in past few years.
Wazir informed that coordination within the country and across border was enhanced to synchronize the efforts for stopping virus from circulating in the region adding the program was close to eradicate the virus and that they realized the fact that sustaining the success demanded more efforts.
Earlier IMB members including Were, Francis James Mahoney visited Khyber Agency to monitor vaccination at Civil Dispensary Sultan Khail (Landikotal), vaccination at International Cross Border Point Torkham (LandiKotal) and monitor a meeting of Pakistan and Afghanistan polio teams at Zero Point Torkhum.
A statement issued from the EOC read that the visiting IMB members interviewed parents, spoke with community and asked questions where at the same time were briefed by the teams on the spot.
The delegation also had a meeting with Additional Chief Secretary Sikandar Qayum Khan and Deputy Commissioner Khyber Islam Zaib to discuss challenges, probable solutions and way forward.
The meeting was attended by Technical Focal Person Dr Nadeem Jan (Tamgha –e-Imtiaz), Team Lead WHO-Tribal Districts Dr Hamid Momand, Team Lead UNICEF-Tribal Districts Dr Tufail Ahmad and other relevant EOC Tribal districts officials.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 8th, 2018.