Former UN official tipped as polio programme chief

Atta was part of team that designed PTI's media and communications strategy leading to victory in elections

Our Correspondent October 08, 2018
Atta was part of team that designed PTI's media and communications strategy leading to victory in elections. PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: A former official of the United Nations and a very close aide of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Babar Bin Atta is being tipped as Prime Minister's Focal Person on Polio Eradication for the next 5 years.

Official sources at the Prime Minister's office confided the news to The Express Tribune.

Atta is considered one of the country's top communications and advocacy specialists and a very close aide of the Prime Minister. He was part of the core communications team that designed Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf's (PTI’s) media and communications strategy leading to victory in general elections held earlier this year.

According to high ranking officials of the National Polio Programme, Babar Atta has served with UN for eight years (2006-2014) as senior communication and advocacy official for the polio programme.

His name is being tipped in the wake of challenges in communications and advocacy being faced by the polio programme as reflected in the National Emergency Action Plan (NEAP) for polio eradication.

PM approves polio emergency programme

Talking to The Express Tribune, Babar Atta confirmed that his name was being considered as one of the candidates for the post. "The Pakistan Polio Programme has improved significantly, but frankly by no means to the extent of achieving the final goal, which is to eradicate the virus completely," He remarked.

According to him, it was too early to get into celebration mode, "Even a single polio case is a case too many as the infected child puts other children in the surroundings at risk". He Stated.

Responding to a question on whether Pakistan will achieve polio free status in the current regime, he stated that complete eradication is only achievable if we improve our performance to the required levels.

"Right now, we are doing good but we are clearly short of achieving the required levels, I am more than sure that along with the international partners, we can get there and if the PM appoints me as his focal person, I shall make sure we get there, no matter what it takes," he said.

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Arslan Mehmood | 1 year ago | Reply | Recommend He is Imran Khan's star performer. I have worked with him, the quote "either I will find a way or will make one" was made for him. If anyone can do the job. He is the man. Excellent choice.
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