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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday, expressing his satisfaction over polio eradication drive and sharp decline in new poliovirus cases, stressed that with well-coordinated efforts of the federal and provincial governments, Pakistan could be made a polio-free country.

The prime minister, congratulating the provincial governments and the partners for the polio eradication campaign, noted that surfacing of a single case throughout the country in this year was a greater success.

However, he said, their mission was to make Pakistan a complete polio free country.

The prime minister was chairing a meeting of the National Task Force on Polio Eradication. The meeting was attended by Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Shah Farman, Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah, Chief Minister KPK Mahmood Khan, Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan Muhammad, Khallid Khursheed, PM’s Special Assistants Dr Shahbaz Gill, Engineer-in-Chief Pakistan Army Lieutenant General Moazzam Ijaz, provincial chief secretaries and representatives of the ministry of health and global partners, PM office media wing said in a press release.

The meeting was apprised that due to effective strategy of the federal and provincial governments, only one polio case had been reported from Balochistan during the year. Due to coronavirus pandemic, the polio immunization campaign had been slow.

The prime minister said during coronavirus pandemic, the government saved human lives along with securing their livelihood, which was acknowledged by the world. With such spirit, they would have to defeat polio, he added.

It was told that in different districts of Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces, traces of poliovirus were found. Due to issues of access, security and non cooperation of parents, every year a large number of children were deprived from polio drops.

The meeting was further apprised that information and technology was being utilised along with geographical information system and tracking.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation polio supervision board president Dr Chris Elias lauded the PM and the government for achieving a significant milestone in the polio eradication campaign.

The provincial chief ministers apprised the meeting about the measures taken in their respective provinces with regard to polio eradication drive.

The PM also expressed his gratitude to global partners including World Health Organization, Rotary International and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for extending technical and financial support to the country.

Earlier, the PM launched the national polio drive by administering polio drops to a kid.

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