Health Minister calls for doubling efforts for polio eradication

Islamabad, March 04, 2014 (PPI-OT): Federal Minister for National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination (NHSRC), Ms. Saira Afzal Tarar, expressed her concern over increasing number of polio cases in Pakistan especially in FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

A detailed review attended by Ms. Ayesha Raza Farooq, PM’s focal person on Polio. Secretary Ministry of NHSRC, National Program Manager EPI and representatives of partner agencies discussed in detail the current scale of efforts being undertaken by Federal and Provincial Governments and development partners. The Federal Minister condemned the latest attacks on the polio workers and escorting police men all over the country.

Officials of the PM Polio Cell while sharing the details of the polio cases appeared this year in the country, apprised the meeting that 24 polio cases have been registered including 19 from North Waziristan, one case form Khyber Agency, one from F.R Bannu while 3 cases have been reported from Khyber Pakhtnkhwa including 2 from Peshawar and 1 from Bannu.

She said that eradication of this crippling disease of polio is a top priority of the present Government and is committed to eradicate this menace from the country at the earliest. Federal Government will extend all out support to provincial Governments to implement the Program successfully.

Discussing the contributions of Religious leaders for the cause, Ms. Tarar said that Fatwas and pledges of all major Religious Scholars are available with us and they have committed to extend their support to address all refusals based on religious basis.

The attacks on Polio teams started back in 2012 when 11 members of polio teams were killed in Karachi and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Quetta. In 2013, 19 members of polio teams including police escorts have lost their lives. In 2014, 24 frontline workers and security personnel have been killed and many injured.

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