Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Engineer Iqbal Zafar Jhagra Tuesday directed all the Political Agents and Agency Surgeons to ensure polio eradication from the entire region within first three months of 2017.
Presiding over a high level meeting of Provincial Task Force for polio eradication FATA at Governor House here, he asked the health officials and political administration to leave no stone unturned and ensure that polio was once for all defeated across FATA.
The governor said eradication of polio was government’s top most priority and political administration should also ensure that no child across the region was left unvaccinated in the upcoming campaigns in year 2017.
“FATA is almost polio free and by ensuring high quality campaigns and reaching out to each and every child across the agencies will make eradication a reality,” he said.
The governor urged international partners to enhance support in improving routine immunization, as it was vital for achieving and sustaining polio eradication.
On this occasion, Senator Ayesha Raza appreciated the progress shown by FATA in combating the threat of polio virus to over one million children in the region.
She urged “We have come very close to our goal but this should not slow us down rather we should aim to carry out three high quality campaigns in the new year and defeat the virus completely by March 2017 and ensure that we could sustain it for the next three years.”
Earlier, EOC FATA representative Dr. Nadeem Jan briefed about 2016 achievements and future plans for 2017.
The progress in achieving the higher standards of polio campaigns throughout 2016 was considered the hallmark of FATA performance.
He informed that as compared to 179 polio cases reported in 2014, only two cases were reported from FATA in 2016, which was because of dedication, hard work and diligence shown on the part of political agents, PEI international partners and EOC FATA Team.
While appreciating the support provided by law enforcement agencies in improving access of polio team in FATA, the governor stressed the need to develop strong communication networking and coordination with Afghanistan and KP teams to ensure that deadly virus circulation was eliminated from this region within first three months of 2017.
He directed the political administration of FATA to show ownership of this national cause and fight against polio and provide all out efforts and support to enable the anti-polio teams to vaccinate every child in the tribal region.
He issued the directions at all levels to ensure the security arrangements for the teams and their monitors to eradicate polio.
The governor also appreciated the role of international community and assured his full support to wipe out the crippling disease from the country. The meeting reviewed the overall polio situation and progress of anti-polio campaign in FATA.
Prime Minister Focal Person for Polio, Senator Aysha Raza Farooq, UNICEF team leader for Polio Pakistan, Aidan Oleary, representatives of WHO, Bill and Malanda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Rotary International, Chief Secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Additional Chief Secretary FATA, Coordinator EOC FATA, Agency Surgeons, Political Agents, Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners, and officials of health departments were also among the attendants.