ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has expressed the confidence that Pakistan will soon become a polio-free country and assured the Task Force of all necessary financial and administrative support from the federal government in achieving the national objective.
This was stated by him while presiding over a meeting of the Task Force on Eradication of Polio held at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat here this morning.
Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf in his concluding remarks at the end of the fourth meeting of the National task Force on Polio Eradication appreciated the efforts and contributions of the members of National Task Force on Polio Eradication and observed that deliberations of the meeting has given him more insight into the challenges and sensitivities of the polio campaign in Pakistan.
The Prime Minister appreciated the contributions and efforts of Ms. Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, Pakistan’s Goodwill Ambassador for Polio Eradication and observed that her presence is a source of strength and pride and inspiration to the members of the Task Force. He termed the polio campaign as a noble and sacred duty.
Expressing his concern over the presence of polio in the country, he told the members of the Task Force that “we have to be on our toes, visit from door-to-door, we have to succeed in eradicating this menace”.
The Prime Minister said that no religion opposes eradication of polio. The Quran says that saving a life is saving humanity. He termed the eradication of polio as a religious and national duty.
Earlier, in his opening remarks, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf thanked the leadership of all the provinces, Government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, Members of the Task Force, senior officials of the government, international donors, World Health Organization, Islamic Development Bank and particularly Ms. Aseefa Bhutto Zardari for their role in eradication of polio in Pakistan.
The Task Force on Polio Eradication, the Prime Minister said represents our common resolve to collectively respond to this challenge posed to the health and well being of our children. This forum, he said, provides us an opportunity to identify critical areas that need our attention and to pool our wisdom to work out solution that posed diverse challenges in different parts of the country.
It is a question of the lives of our children whose future is very dear to us, said the Prime Minister.
Noting that there has been a significant improvement in the situation and the country has reported far fewer cases (27) as corresponding to the period last year (71), the Prime Minister cautioned that this should not make us complacent.
The Prime Minister praised the efforts of Governor Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa and Dr. Azra Fazal Pechuho. He expressed the confidence that Governor, KPK would make personal efforts to make FATA accessible so that polio campaign activity resumes and the children in those areas are protected against the disease.
The Prime Minister said “the governments of Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir deserve credit and applause for maintaining a polio-free status”.
The Prime Minister urged Task Force to mobilize Parliamentarians, Civil Society and religious leaders to join hands in leading the polio campaign.
Ms. Shahnaz Wazir Ali, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister gave an overview about the progress made so far in eradicating polio from the country.
She said that Deputy Commissioners/District Coordination Officers have been empowered to implement the strategy worked out to eliminate polio from the country. In this connection, Control Rooms have been set-up on District and Union Council levels which are fully equipped and operational.
Identifying some of the challenges facing the polio campaign, Ms. Shahnaz Wazir Ali said culturally inappropriate vaccination teams, misuse of resources, negative propaganda about the polio vaccine and the missing/refusal to administer polio vaccine to the children are some of the impediments facing the polio campaign.
Mir Hazar Khan Bajarani, Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination, Governor Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, Barrister Syed Masood Kausar, the Chief Secretary Punjab, Mr. Nasir Mahmood Khosa, Chief Secretary Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, Mr. Ghulam Dastagir Akhtar, Ms. Asma Arbab Alamgir, Dr. Azra Fazal Pechuho, Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan, Syed Mehdi Shah, Regional Director, World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Ala Alwal and Mr. Aziz Memon, President Rotary International also spoke on the occasion. -- PR
updated 9 months, 18 days ago