polio drive pakistan
Last year alone, 198 polio cases had been reported in the four provinces and Fata and the world was rightly worried that Pakistan might export the virus. Pakistan is last among the four countries in the world with prevalence of polio.              — Photo courtesy: White Star

ISLAMABAD: Political rivals in parliament have joined hands to fight the crippling disease of polio that has attacked over 200 children in the country over the past couple of years.

At a news conference at the National Press Club here on Monday, MNAs and senators belonging to the PPP, PML-N, MQM, ANP, JUI-F and PML-Q said that fighting polio had become “a national obligation” because 60 per cent of the polio cases reported in the world last year had occurred in Pakistan.

They regretted that 198 polio cases had been reported in the four provinces and Fata last year alone and the world was rightly worried that Pakistan might export the virus. No case was reported in India last year. Pakistan is among four countries in the world with prevalence of polio.

MNAs Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry and Malik Shakil Awan of the PML-N, MNA Akhunzada Chattan and Senator Saeeda Iqbal of the PPP, MNA Asia Nasir of the JUI-F, MNA Parvaiz Khan of the ANP, MNA Fauzia Ijaz Khan of the MQM and MNA Humayun Saifullah Khan of PML (Likeminded) expressed concern over the failure of successive anti-polio campaigns which caused the epidemic to reach the alarming proportion.

Adviser to Prime Minister on Social Welfare Begum Shehnaz Wazir Ali said the federal government had drafted a legislation to make polio immunisation compulsory and expected the provinces to follow suit after the devolution of health-related issued to them.

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