First Meeting of National Task Force on Polio Eradication on 1st June, 2011


Islamabad: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has said that the Government is cognizant of the presence of Polio disease in Pakistan and sought cooperation of the provinces, National and International agencies for this national as well as international cause.

Welcoming all participants in the inaugural meeting of the National Task Force on Polio Eradication at Prime Minister’s Secretariat this morning and the Prime Minister mentioned that Polio Eradication has been one of the top priorities of the Government in the health sector since the days of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto. The inaugural meeting was attended by the Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Barrister Masood Kausar, Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah and Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Amir Haider Khan Hoti, parliamentarians, representatives of the International Agencies and senior officers of the Federal Government and Provincial Governments.

The Prime Minister said that the President of Pakistan too launched an Emergency Plan to eradicate Polio from Pakistan. He mentioned about the meeting on 14th January, 2011 to oversee the steps taken to eradicate polio and the establishment of the National Task Force on Polio Eradication. He pointed out that despite increase of the members of the National Task Force to benefit from their expertise and experience, however, there are reports of occurrences of polio cases in a few provinces which reflect poorly on our performance.

The Prime Minister recalled that in the meeting of January, 2011, the National Polio Emergency Plan 2011 was approved and we all collectively resolved to combat and wipe out Polio from our country so as to give our future generations a Polio Free Pakistan. Among other things the Plan envisaged monitoring by National Polio Monitoring Cell established by him in the Prime Minister’s Secretariat and he had requested all the Chief Ministers of the provinces to take its ownership personally and to regularly monitor the progress of the implementation of the Plan, he added..

The Prime Minister said that he had further requested all the Chief Ministers through my letter dated 25th February, 2011 to advise all the Chief Secretaries and Deputy Commissioners, Political Agents, and District Coordination Officers to take personal charge of the implementation in the areas of their jurisdiction. He directed the district management to leave no stone unturned in reaching every child under 5 years of age as per Emergency Plan in the length and breadth of Pakistan.

Similarly, the Prime Minister urged all parents to ensure that their eligible children must receive the polio vaccine during the forthcoming campaigns. He also sought the generous support of international partners in this regard.

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Haji Ahmed Malik
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