No deadline given for polio eradication, says PM House
ISLAMABAD: After it was widely reported a day earlier that the prime minister had vowed to eradicate polio from Pakistan within six months, the Prime Minister House spokesperson on Thursday issued a clarification that the premier did not announce any deadline.
Chairing a meeting of the National Task Force on Polio Eradication a day earlier, PM Nawaz Sharif vowed to make Pakistan polio-free within six months and said that he would personally review the progress of the polio programme every fortnight.
However, the PM House spokesperson today (Thursday) denied the statement, stating that the PM never gave any deadline for the eradication of polio in the country.
The prime minister, however, has directed the provinces to take extensive measures against polio eradication during the months of November and April when polio virus cases are relatively low.
Nawaz furthermore directed the relevant authorities to take initiative to vaccinate every child on an emergency basis.
Pakistan is one of only three countries in the world where polio remains endemic but efforts to stamp it out have been badly hit in recent years by attacks on immunisation teams.
Some 59 people including health workers and police providing security have been killed in militant attacks on polio vaccination teams since December 2012.
The militants allege polio vaccination is a cover for espionage or Western-conspiracy to sterilise Muslims.
Also read: Pakistan set to record highest number of polio cases: officials