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imageISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain on Tuesday said despite immense security challenges Pakistan was committed to polio eradication and vowed that every step would be taken to eradicate the crippling disease from the country.

The President while chairing a meeting on Polio Eradication here at the Awain-e-Sadr the President strongly condemned the killing of Polio workers today who lost their lives while administering Polio drops to the infants in Karachi East area of Qayyumabad.

Expressing heartfelt condolences with the bereaved families, the President said, "such heinous and cowardly attacks cannot deter our commitment. Rather they further strengthen our resolve to continue the ongoing fight against Polio," the President said.

The President urged all concerned to provide full security cover to the workers involved in the Polio Campaign as no one can be allowed to target those working to protect the health of the future generation.

President Mamnoon Hussain also called upon all stakeholders, public and private and the general public to come forward and contribute their share by actively participating in the nationwide Polio Campaign for the year 2014, to make Pakistan free of the debilitating disease.

The President on the occasion also participated in the First Nationwide Polio Campaign 2014 by administering Polio drops to children.

Prime Minister's Focal Person on Polio Eradication Ms. Ayesha Raza Farooq briefed the meeting on the salient features of the Nationwide Polio Eradication Campaign 2014 and the various initiatives and gaps where special efforts are required besides steps being taken by the government for making Pakistan a polio free country.

She said over 34 million children will be vaccinated across the country during the recent campaign. She said over 200,000 workers and supervisors were involved in the immunization drive.

She said that Polio Control Rooms have been established at district, provincial and federal levels to closely monitor daily progress of the campaign.

The President while referring to his meeting with tribal elders during the grand tribal Jirga at Peshawar early this month said he had advised the Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA secretariat to engage local community especially the Imams and Ulema, religious scholars to persuade the parents to vaccinate their children against polio.

The President said that local solutions in accordance with local traditions and norms can produce better results especially in FATA in reaching out to the children for anti polio vaccination.

The President while reiterating his and government's unflinching support and commitment towards eradication of the menace of polio from Pakistan said, "we shall not rest till every child is immunized in the country and the polio is completely eradicated from Pakistan."

Those present during the meeting include among others Minister of States for National Health Services Regulations Coordination Mrs. Saira Afzal Tarar, Prime Minister's Focal Person on Polio Eradication Ms. Ayesha Raza Farooq, Secretary National Health Services Regulations Coordination, Imtiaz Inayat Elahi, Dr. Rana Muhammad Safdar, National Coordinator, PM's Polio Monitoring and Coordination Cell, Dr. Altaf Bosan, National Technical Focal Person, PM's Polio Monitoring & Coordination Cell, Dr. Nima Saeed Abid, WHO Representative to Pakistan, Dr Elias Durry, WHO Country Polio Team Leader, and Dan Rohrmann, UNICEF Representative to Pakistan.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2014

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