QUETTA: The government is committed to making Balochistan polio-free in near future, says Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri.

He said this in a meeting on Thursday with Prime Minis­ter’s Focal Person for Polio Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq. Those present in the meeting included Provincial Minister Sardar Aslam Biz­enjo, Balochistan Chief Secretary Aurang­zeb Haq, Health Sec­retary Javed Shah­wani and Spokesman Anwarul Haq Kakar.

While appreciating the efforts of the provincial government and the health depart­ment regarding polio eradication, Nawab Zehri said that the goal to purge the epidemic virus was being achieved successfully.

“We are determined to save our children from all epidemic diseases, including polio virus and Balochistan is close to being declared a polio free zone,” he said.

CM meets prime minister’s focal person for polio

The main obstacle to eradication of virus was parents’ refusal to get their children administered anti-polio vaccine, he said and added: “I will personally convince them to administer their children anti-polio drops.”

A fresh case of polio was reported on Tuesday from the Pak-Afghan border town of Gulistan where a 16-month-old boy was diagnosed with polio, thus bringing the total number of cases in 2017 to three.

“We need to pay more attention to Quetta zone, particularly Pak-Afghan bordering areas. Children in Afghan refugee camps should be administrated anti-polio drops during all campaigns,” the chief minister added.

Regarding the emergence of the fresh polio case, he said, investigation was underway and strict action would be taken against officials found negligent during the anti-polio drive.

The provincial government, he said, was providing all assistance to the health department and international organisations to facilitate them in their fight against polio.

Published in Dawn, December 22nd, 2017

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