ISLAMABAD: The Japanese government has announced a new grant assistance of $4.57 million to procure essential oral polio vaccine as part of its continued support to Pakistan for polio eradication.
This latest grant will be utilised for the procurement of 23.66m doses of vaccines, and it will allow the programme to reach children under the age of five years living in the districts with persistent polio virus transmission.
To formalise the grant assistance, notes were signed and exchanged between the Japanese government and UN Children’s Fund, and between Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) and Unicef in Islamabad on Wednesday.
Speaking on the occasion, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Dr Faisal Sultan said that polio eradication is the top-most priority of the government, and “we are resolutely committed to eradicating polio even in difficult times of Covid-19 pandemic”.
The government is grateful to the people and the Japanese government for their timely and generous support for helping us reach every child with essential polio vaccine. Together, we will reach the milestone of polio-free Pakistan and world,” said Dr Sultan.
Ambassador of Japan Matsuda Kuninori paid tribute to all the frontline polio workers engaged in vaccination amid the prevailing risk of Covid-19. “Japan remains committed to assisting the people of Pakistan together with Unicef in their goal of eradicating polio,” he said.
“We highly appreciate the brave and tireless efforts of the Pakistani government despite the Covid-19 pandemic. With this grant aid, Jica will assist the vaccine procurement for children living in high-risk areas through Unicef,” Jica Chief Representative Shigeki Furuta said.
Published in Dawn, January 28th, 2021