ISLAMABAD: Pakistan assured the global community that it is on track to wipe out polio from the country.
Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Polio Eradication Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq while addressing the global health community at the sixty-eighth World Health Assembly (WHA) which began on May 18 in Geneva, said Pakistan is making all-out efforts to eradicate polio from the country. The disease has crippled 23 innocent lives this year, but by this time last year the count was at 80 young lives.
In a statement issued here on Thursday she said, “The key issue of accessibility that was the single major impediment to fighting polio has been effectively addressed through decisive action and innovative solutions. This was in addition to ensuring security strategy was in sync with operational strategy in sensitive areas.”
Farooq said now they have shifted the focus of polio eradication efforts from covered to missed children. This was done with the establishment of data support centers to track missed children in 554 high-risk union councils.
Most recently in view of a porous border and frequent movement between Pakistan and Afghanistan, both countries were declared a single epidemiological block by the International Health Regulations Committee of WHO. In this context cross border collaboration on Polio with Afghanistan has been enhanced, said Ayesha Raza Farooq.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2015.