ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Polio Eradication Senator Ayesha Raza Fatooq addressing the World Health Assembly in Geneva on Thursday held out the assurance to the global community that Pakistan was on track to defeating Polio. The key issue of accessibility that was the single major impediment to fighting Polio has been effectively addressed through decisive action and innovative solutions besides ensuring security strategy was in sync with operational strategy in sensitive areas said Ayesha Raza Farooq.
The Senator informed the World Health Assembly that all agencies of FATA are now accessible to the health workers and Polio vaccination was in full swing. In the backdrop of targeting of polio workers that finds no precedent elsewhere in the world security has received the greatest attention she said.
With improved monitoring and coordination by the federal government there has been a marked improvement in campaign coverage with 70 percent reduction in polio cases and polio virus disappearing from environmental samples. There was enhanced focus on missed children with establishment of data support centers to track missed children in 554 high risk union councils.
The Senator informed health leaders of the world that refusal to polio vaccination was now at an all time low and influentials and religious leaders were fully supporting the noble cause. 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.
Speakers from different countries of Europe, Africa and the middle east in their remarks commended efforts made by Pakistan in the face of major challenges. The countries called for redoubling of efforts to free the world of Polio.