Polio eradication is top-most priority: PM Khan

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday presided a high-level meeting on the rise in polio cases in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and other parts of Pakistan.

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PM Khan stated that the eradication of polio is the top-most priority of the government as it affects the future generation. Expressing serious concern over the recent spike in polio cases, the premier directed officials concerned in the federal as well as provincial governments to undertake effective awareness and immunization campaigns to check the incidence of polio.

The premier also stressed upon the need for a robust Ehsaas Polio Partnership for the synergised implementation of the two vital programs.

Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mehmood Khan, Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan, SAPM on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza, PM’s Focal Person on Pakistan Polio Eradication Initiative Babar Bin Atta, Engineer-in-Chief of Pakistan Army Lt. Gen. Moazzam Ejaz, High Commissioner of Canada to Pakistan Ms. Wendy Gilmore, Federal Secretary Health, Chief Secretaries of Punjab, KP, Sindh & Balochistan, representatives from UNICEF, WHO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and senior officials attended the meeting.

The representative of Pakistan Army assured full support to polio teams in their efforts to reach out to the children in far-flung areas of the country.

Representatives of international partners and donors also assured their continued cooperation to the Government of Pakistan in the polio eradication mission. A letter of appreciation from Mr Bill Gates to the Prime Minister for efforts being made to eliminate the crippling disease was presented by Dr Tim Peterson, Deputy Director Polio Bill & Melinda Gates.

Polio, a disease transmitted through sewage which can cause crippling paralysis particularly in young children, is incurable and remains a threat to human health as long as it has not been eradicated. Immunization campaigns have succeeded in most countries and have come close to Pakistan, but persistent problems remain.

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