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KARACHI: The younger daughter of former Prime Minister Shaheed Mohtrama Benazir Bhutto Asifa Bhutto-Zardari requested that parents should support the government in its effort to eradicate polio.

On the occasion of World Polio Day 2022, she said that the recent polio cases in Pakistan were a threat to our future generations and that children could be saved from childhood diseases like polio through vaccines. “We must all come together and work towards polio eradication. We owe this to our children. We must collectively work towards making Pakistan Polio Free,” she said.

With 20 new cases reported in Pakistan in 2022 alone, the government is being extra vigilant, and it is extremely crucial for us to reach every child under the age of five in order to curb the spread of the polio virus in the country.

The back-to-back monthly polio campaigns are to ensure that our children remain polio free. Thanks to these campaigns, Sindh has not reported a single case of polio since July 2020 and environment samples in major locations are also negative which is good for the programme and the future of our children.

“If we continue with the same momentum, we will further see significant results, but we must not get complacent and continue the hard work and have regular vaccination campaigns to ensure our children are protected. We understand that communities in the super high-risk UCs for polio need other services and we are addressing this through new initiatives like creating health facilities,” she said.

“We must focus on childhood immunisation to prevent childhood diseases; the benefits of vaccination are clear as frequent campaigns can significantly reduce the burden of polio across the country as it has in the past. Children can be saved from childhood diseases like polio through vaccination and we seek the media’s help to raise awareness regarding this,” she said.

Pakistan is one of the two polio-endemic countries in the world along with Afghanistan and has so far reported a total of 20 polio cases in 2022.

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