PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra has said all out efforts are being made for complete eradication of polio from the country to make Pakistan a polio free state to save the future of next generation.
He said they are making progress in eradicating the virus of the crippling disease adding that significant improvement in security and accessibility has helped in containing polio cases in FATA.
He ensured full support to FATA Polio Eradication Initiative (PEI) team in their efforts to save future of our children.
He was presiding over a high level meeting of Provincial Task Force for polio eradication FATA at Governor House Peshawar on Tuesday.
The meeting reviewed the overall polio situation and progress of anti-polio campaign in FATA. Besides, Prime Minister Focal Person for Polio Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq, Rabiya Amjad, Program Specialist, UNICEF, Country team leader for Pakistan, WHO, Dr. Salah Hatami, Representatives of Pakistan, Bill and Malanda Gates Foundation (BMGF), the Principal Secretary to Governor, Sikandar Qayyum, Coordinator EOC FATA, Secretary Law and Order ,Shakeel Qadir, representative of health departments attended the meeting.
The Commissioner Peshawar Dr. Fakhr e Alam, deputy commisioners, Political Agents, Agency Surgeons and officials of health departments and others were also among the attendants.
The Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa urged international partners to also enhance support in improving routine immunization, as it is vital for achieving polio eradication goals as well.
Earlier, EOC FATA Coordinator Shakeel Qadir Khan, briefed the Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and participants of the meeting about declining trend of refusals and missed children in FATA.
He shared that successful launch and completion of IPV campaign is the significant milestone that FATA Team has achieved. He told the participants that special emphasis on reaching the unreached spots, door to door vaccination, tracking missed children & refusals, implementation of IPV campaigns, health camps and strengthening of cross border vaccination with KP and Afghanistan have contributed in recent successes made by FATA team.
He informed that as compared to 179 polio cases reported in 2014 and 16 in 2015 and no polio case has been reported in FATA in 2016, which is because of dedication, hard work and diligence shown on the part of political agents, PEI international partners and EOC FATA Team.
The Governor stressed the need to have strong support of international community working in Afghanistan within an objective to stop polio transmission to Pakistan through Afghan border. He asked all relevant officials for their effective participation in polio immunization campaign to eradicate polio from the country.
He said well coordinated efforts are needed in anti-polio activities on either side of the border adding that this would ultimately contribute in defeating the virus to prevail in FATA and the whole region.
He directed the political administration of FATA to show ownership of National Emergency Action Plan and provide all out efforts and support to enable the anti polio teams to vaccinate every child in the tribal region. He issued the directions at all levels to ensure the security arrangements for the teams and their monitors to eradicate polio as it was the top most priority of the incumbent government.
He further directed the officials concerned that more effective and well coordinated immunization and anti-polio campaign be followed vigorously in the province and FATA and vaccination of every child be ensured to save the future of the country.
He said that every possible step should be taken to ensure the effective and successful door to door anti polio campaign.
Representatives of international organizations lauded the efforts made by EOC FATA team under the leadership of the Governor to sustain accessibility, reduce the number of missed children. Governor also appreciated the role of international community and assured his full support to wipe out the crippling disease from the country.