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Pakistan reaffirms commitment to completely eliminate polio by 2026

Pakistan has reaffirmed its dedication to eliminating polio entirely from the country by 2026. The resolve was expressed by Pakistan's permanent representative to the United Nations Ambassador Munir Akram while addressing the Special Focus Session on Polio Eradication at the UN headquarters in New York. He said currently the country is executing the largest polio eradication initiative globally, engaging 340,000 polio workers, with the majority being women. He highlighted that despite encountering numerous obstacles, substantial advancements have been achieved through the implementation of the National Emergency Action Plan (2020) for Polio Eradication. The Ambassador said that despite challenges such as the aftermath of the 2022 floods, Pakistan significantly reduced polio cases to just six in 2023. With a target to immunize 45 million children this year, Pakistan launched the National Immunization Days (NID) campaign. Acknowledging the progress achieved in polio eradication, Ambassador Munir Akram und erscored the importance of continued collaboration and financial support from global partners. He said Pakistan requires $205 million for its polio program this year, with a shortfall of $95 million. He urged donors and partners to contribute generously to ensure the success of polio eradication efforts and prevent any child from being deprived of immunization due to funding constraints. Emphasizing the urgency of the situation, Ambassador Munir Akram urged member states, WHO, UNICEF, and all relevant partners to take bold and decisive actions to eradicate polio by 2026. He highlighted the opportunity to make history by making polio the second disease to be eradicated after smallpox. Furthermore, he stressed the importance of realizing the 2030 targets of the Immunization Agenda through collective efforts. Source: Radio Pakistan