Nawaz resolves to end polio by 2014


THE NATION, ISLAMABAD, 21st SEPTEMBER 2013:- Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has resolved to end polio virus from the country by 2014 saying that it was his earnest desire to make Pakistan a country where no parents see their child crippled by the polio.
The prime minister chaired a meeting regarding polio task force at the PM office on Friday, which was attended by KPK Governor Shaukatullah, Sindh CM Syed Qaim Ali Shah, KPK CM Pervez Khattak, AJK PM Chaudhry Abdul Majeed, provincial health ministers, chief secretaries and representatives of national and international donor.
The prime minister said that he was aware of the challenges and their diversities from KPK to Sindh and said that both the provinces are fighting against polio. He emphasised on the mutual understanding among the federal and provincial stack holders to achieve the cherished goal of complete eradication of polio from the country.
He said the success of the National Emergency Action Plan depends on its proper implementation. He added that civil-military coordination will help a great deal in eradicating polio from Fata. He asked for nominating senior government officials as provincial polio focal persons and establishing the Provincial Monitoring Control rooms in CM offices.
National Health Services MOS Saira Afzal Tarar briefed the meeting on strategies evolved for polio eradication. She said that in 1994, there were 2600 cases were reported in Pakistan while the figure for 2013 stands at 28, showing a sharp decline in polio cases. She proposed that the task force must meet on quarterly basis to overview the progress made.
KPK governor stressed the better coordination between the federal government and intelligence agencies to avert any attacks on the polio health workers.
World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Director Dr Ala Alwan appreciated the decline in polio cases and stressed that efforts must continue till the complete eradication of polio.
He urged that combined endeavours by political, religious leadership and the local administration would substantially help in achieving the shared goal. Earlier, Dr Ala Alwan called on the PM office.

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