QUETTA: The government is firm to making the country polio-free and will employ all efforts to eradicate the disease. Emergence of new polio cases has forced international institutions and foreign governments to put restrictions on the country.
This was decided in a meeting presided over by the federal government’s focal person on polio MNA Aiysha Raza on Tuesday. The meeting was held to rid the country of the crippling virus, with special reference to Balochistan.
Provincial Additional Chief Secretary for Planning and Development Ali Zaheer Hazara, Secretary Health Arshad Bugti, secretaries, divisional commissioners, deputy commissioners, and representatives of the WHO, Unicef and Amelda Gates Foundation attended the meeting.
Expressing serious concerns over increasing polio cases, participants decided to remove hurdles faced by polio teams in Fata, Karachi and parts of Balochistan, sources said.
It was noted that refusal of parents to administer vaccines to their wards was adding to the number of cases. The meeting emphasised on political and religious parties, and civil society members to help in creating awareness, more so through the help of media.
However, refusal cases in sensitive areas like Quetta, Qila Abdullah and Pishin were decreasing after the emergence of six cases there.
Chief Minister Balochistan Dr Abdul Malik Baloch and Chief Secretary Saifullah Chatha took serious notice of these detections at a time when the province was near to be declared polio free.
Ms Aiysha Raza said the government was utilising all available resources to control polio disease.
“Federal and provincial governments will strive to rid the country of polio virus,” she said adding more cases were reported in 2011 which now had been controlled to a great extent.
Published in Dawn, October 15th, 2014