Polio eradication

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TO benefit from experience, advice and input from seasoned minds of the country, government has formed a national strategic Advisory Group on Polio Eradication and Immunization. The broad based body to be led by Adviser on Health Dr Zafar Mirza also includes former focal persons on Polio eradication Shahnaz Wazir Ali and Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq besides country’s former Permanent Representative to the UN Zameer Akram.
Our children are endangered by preventable diseases like Polio and we have to protect them from lifelong disability. This warrants convergence and working together by transcending political differences. Given the upsurge in Polio cases witnessed this year, it had become imperative to take steps in the right direction to reverse current trend. The first challenge both for federal and provincial governments is to ensure one hundred percent coverage while removing misperceptions still prevailing against Polio vaccination especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Both Shahnaz Wazeer Ali and Ayesha Raza Farooq have experience of successfully heading anti-Polio campaigns in the past and we are confident that their valuable inputs will greatly help plug existing gaps in the Polio vaccination campaigns. Mass awareness campaigns should be launched at the gross roots levels to convince parents about the effectiveness of this vaccination for their children. As religious scholars and journalists have also been made part of this advisory group, their voice will really matter a lot. This crippling disease should be taken as a national emergency and everybody should play its part to make the country Polio free. Special Assistant on Health Dr Zafar Mirza deserves appreciation for taking the initiative of establishing advisory group regardless of differences that PTI has with other opposition parties.
On such serious matters, which are not only putting lives of our children at risk but also a cause of embarrassment at international level, a bipartisan approach can be fruitful not only to effectively tackle the challenge but also bring down political temperature. We expect that same modus operandi will be adopted to bring education reforms as well as much delayed National Finance Commission Award. Both government and opposition parties must rise above their petty political interests and work collectively towards making this country a better place to live for our future generations.

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