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KARACHI: Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) said on Thursday that it was very much concerned over the detection of polio cases in Pakistan.

“Pakistan remained polio free for 15 months till April 2022 after which three polio cases have been reported. It seems that we are once again returning back from the brink of eradicating wild poliovirus transmission. Now it is time for the government to chalk out foolproof strategy to curb polio virus on emergent basis,” said Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) Secretary General Dr SM Qaiser Sajjad in a statement.

He said PMA believed that a strong positive awareness campaign through print, electronic and social media should be initiated and a documentary about 30 to 60 seconds should go on air to aware the people about the consequences of the polio virus.

Dr Qaiser said it would also aware the people about the importance of polio vaccine. Government should particularly convince the people that vaccine is very effective for the eradication of polio and it is absolutely not harmful in any way, he added.

He said that the government should also work to remove all the misconceptions about the polio drops from the public minds. The message should go to public with such clarity that they themselves take their children to vaccine centres for polio drops, he said.

PMA leader also suggested that all the stakeholders should be involved in the awareness campaign. Political leaders, religious leaders, doctors, teachers, artists and sportsmen can play an important role in this campaign. General Physicians can particularly play a major role in eliminating polio, he further said.

PMA has been expressing and guiding the government to work with all stakeholders, political parties and Religious leaders to eliminate polio from the country. He said “We previously suggested the government to form a special Joint committee of the Parliament on Polio and members from all the political parties should be included in the committee. We believe that only with the efforts of every single person we can eradicate polio from the country.”

“Along with all these efforts salaries of Polio Workers should be enhanced and must be paid regularly in time. We also suggest government to make it mandatory for the parents to get their under five children vaccinated with polio vaccine and vaccination certificates should be issued to the children that should be provided at the time of school admission and elsewhere,” Dr Qaiser concluded.

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