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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday launched the nationwide anti-polio drive with an aim to eradicate the crippling disease from the country.

The drive kicked off as the prime minister administered drops of polio vaccine to the children less than five years of age, here at the Prime Minister’s House.

The prime minister vowed to get the country free from polio, which he said was affecting the children in some areas.

He regretted that polio was one of the few countries in the world where polio was still recognized as an endemic viral infection.

He urged the parents not to miss getting their children administered the polio drops and support the government’s goal to make Pakistan polio-free.

The prime minister expressed Pakistan’s commitment to ending polio and emphasised the role of the government leaders, health workers, and parents to ensure that the disease never paralyzed a child jointly.

He said by keeping up the momentum and staying vigilant, Pakistan would be able to win the challenge of polio eradication.

PM Sharif called upon the federal, provincial and district managements to address the challenges of persistently missed children and also encourage the people by raising awareness about the gravity of the situation.

He paid tribute to the polio workers for relentlessly carrying out the drive in far-flung areas despite the challenges including resistance and refusals by some community members.

Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah, Federal Minister for Health Abdul Qadir Patel, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb and representatives of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation attended the ceremony.

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