ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has urged the international community to help Afghanistan in its fight against polio.
Presiding over a meeting of the National Task Force for Polio Eradication on Wednesday, the prime minister emphasised that low-transmission winter season is the critical time for immunisation of children and that “we all should fight against the virus with killer instincts”.
He directed that other immunisation programmes be also synchronised with polio campaigns in order to achieve maximum coverage and effective results.
The meeting approved National Emergency Action Plan for 2022-23.
According to a statement, the meeting was apprised that PC-I amounting to $798.6 million for years 2022-26, including foreign funding and government of Pakistan share, has been finalised and is ready for approval.
The meeting was informed that Pakistan had achieved tremendous success against polio. From 84 reported cases of wild poliovirus in 2020, the incidence has come down to no case over the last 10 months.
The meeting was also apprised that the main source of wild poliovirus was Afghanistan that ended up in Pakistan due to migration of refugees.
It was informed that Pakistan would qualify for World Health Organisation’s ‘Polio Free’ certificate after completion of 36 months of zero incidence.
Published in Dawn, November 25th, 2021