Polio free Pakistan is a national goal: PM

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The whole nation pays homage to soldiers, police constables and Polio workers martyred in the line of duty: PM

Staff Report

ISLAMABAD, AUG 19: Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif chaired the National Task Force meeting for polio eradication on Friday and expressed his government’s full commitment to take practical measures for curbing wild poliovirus transmission in Pakistan.

The Prime Minister said the current climatic conditions pose great challenges to vaccination campaigns, but it is remarkable to see how polio teams have carried on despite floods in several parts of Khyber-Pakhtunkwa (KP) and torrential rains in Karachi.

It is Important to mention that the current polio campaign for Karachi and six districts of southern Khyber-Pakhtunkwa started on 15 August, while National Polio Vaccination Drive in the rest of the country will commence on the 22nd of August.

“This is a testing time, with recent cases and security incidents, but this is a challenge we can and will overcome. Countries with far more complex challenges have eradicated polio and I see no reason why Pakistan cannot curb transmission,” the Prime Minister said, adding that all provincial governments must ensure they have the best people in the most challenging areas.

“I thank all law enforcement agencies, especially Pakistan Army and Police for their support to polio teams across Pakistan. Many officers and polio workers have sacrificed their lives in the line of duty”, he added.

The Prime Minister also thanked the international donors and partners, especially Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, who have been consistently helping Pakistan to curb the spread of polio virus in Pakistan.

It is relevant to state that this is the Third National Task Force Meeting on Polio that the PM has chaired since he took office. Soon after the first wild polio case of the year was reported in April, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif chaired an emergency meeting of deputy commissioners of all high-risk areas to discuss and address the challenges on the ground.  

The PM and other participants recited fateha for the police constables and soldiers who were martyred in Tank on Tuesday.