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ISLAMABAD: A meeting of the National Task Force for Polio Eradication has approved the National Emergency Action Plan (NEAP) for the next two years (2022-23) on Wednesday.

The meeting of the task force presided over Prime Minister Imran Khan was told that the PC-I amounting to $798.6 million for years, 2022 - 2026, including foreign funding and government share, has been finalised and is ready for approval.

Moreover, the National Emergency Action Plan (NEAP) 2022-2023 is also ready for approval.

The prime minister appreciated international partners including the WHO, the UNICEF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Rotary International, and the Gavi for their financial and technical support for polio eradication campaigns in Pakistan.

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”.

The prime minister said that the international community should come forward to help Afghanistan in the fight against polio and to avert any kind of humanitarian crisis.

The prime minister directed that other immunisation programmes should also be synchronised with polio campaigns in order to achieve maximum coverage and effective results.

The meeting was informed that Pakistan has achieved tremendous success against polio. From 84 reported cases of wild polio virus (WPV1) in year 2020, the incidence has come down to no case in the last 10 months.

It was informed that the main source of WPV1 is Afghanistan that ends up in Pakistan due to migration of refugees.

It was apprised that Pakistan will qualify for the WHO’s “polio free” certificate after completion of 36 months of zero incidence.

Punjab, Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Azad Jammu and Kashmir governments apprised the task force about the updated status of polio eradication measures.

Engineer-in-Chief Pakistan Army apprised the task force regarding security protection provided to the polio immunisation teams working in the field.

Representatives of international partner organisations thanked the prime minister for leading the polio eradication campaign and providing full support.

They expressed full confidence in the Government of Pakistan and committed to work in partnership for this global cause.

The task force meeting was attended by SAPM Dr Faisal Sultan, Governor KP Shah Farman, Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar, Chief Minister KP Mehmood Khan, Chief Minister GB Khalid Khurshid, Minister for Health Balochistan Said Ehsan Shah, PM AJ&K Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan Niazi, Engineer-in-Chief Pakistan Army Lt Gen Moazzam Ejaz, all chief secretaries, senior representatives of the WHO, the UNICEF, the CDC, the Gavi, Rotary International, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and senior government officers.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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