Govt committed to rid country of crippling polio virus: Ayesha

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Staff Reporter

Islamabad—Prime Minister’s Focal Person for Polio Eradication, Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq on Friday said that the government was committed to address the remaining challenges to end the crippling polio transmission in the country.
She was addressing the meeting held here to review anti-polio campaigns and resource allocations by Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) and Directorate of Health Services (DHS) in order to identify gaps and addressing core issues in polio eradication drive in the federal capital.
She expressed satisfaction that Pakistan has been able to reduce the polio cases overall but expressed dismay over campaign quality and high proportion of missed children in the Federal Capital.
She stressed the need for paying more attention on management, supervision and accountability to tackle the remaining gaps in anti-polio drives, particularly in the federal capital.
Ayesha Raza said “We must commit ourselves to nothing less than leaving no child unvaccinated and vulnerable to this crippling virus.”
She urged to reaching the goal of interrupting polio transmission with further intensified efforts particularly in the federal capital. She called for effective steps for ensuring quality polio eradication campaigns by removing all bottlenecks.
She was optimistic that the country would shortly overcome the challenges. She, however urged to focus on training of female workers to ensure success of the drives.
Ayesha Raza said that there should be simple and clear roadmap of vaccination teams besides work-load strategies to reach missed children. “Challenges which impact the drive should be addressed to have better results of anti-polio drives.”
She urged the local staff to meet the targets in the federal capital and reach every household for vaccination of every child. She also urged to focus on improving the capacity of workforce and surveillance system to meet the needs of the polio eradication programme.
She said it was due to the strong political will and commitment, shown by the country’s leadership, which has trickled down to all levels of responsibility and effected change.
She said that the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was committed for complete eradication of poliovirus from the country and he was personally overseeing the anti-polio drives.
She thanked the participants for their presence and expressed the hope that they will focus on follow-ups to help overcoming deficiencies. She added challenges raised in the meeting would continue to provide supervision in this regard.
Mayor Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation Sheikh Ansar Aziz said that the multi-task campaign would be launched in rural and urban areas of federal capital from September 26 to December 30 for vaccination of children under five years of age.
He said that the DHS has fixed the target of 140,835 children to be vaccinated during the drive and for which 600 teams have been formed besides 107 sector supervisors and 21 zonal supervisors to monitor the anti-polio drive.