Government of Pakistan Reaffirms Commitment to Eradicate Polio From the Country On World Polio Day
World Polio Day on October 24th each year commends the work of countless health workers who tirelessly work to achieve a polio-free world. The Government of Pakistan also celebrated the day with a reaffirmed commitment to the eradication of the disease.
Every World Polio Day has a theme. The theme for 2020 is, “A win against polio is a win for global health”.
Africa is now a polio-free country. This leaves Pakistan and Afghanistan as the only countries where some cases are left. Even though Africa is safe, if the virus exists anywhere, it will remain a threat everywhere.
Polio Eradication Campaign
Dr. Faisal Sultan, Special Assistant to the PM on Health, launched another drive on World Polio Day during the ceremony. In his message, Dr. Sultan acknowledges the importance of dealing with the disease for global health. Dr. Faisal said,
Government is fully committed to making Pakistan polio-free forever. It is absolutely necessary that children receive this life-saving vaccine, and I request all parents to allow the team to administer polio drops to their children, I am confident, together with our people and international partners, we will achieve our target of making a safer, healthier and polio-free Pakistan for our children.
Pakistan has a Eradication Programme in place. The program will see the launch of a polio eradication campaign from 26th October to 1st November. The campaign is going to vaccinate more than 30 million children.
The campaign will focus on 128 districts where every child under the age of five will get the vaccine. The districts include 33 districts from the province of Punjab, 33 districts of Balochistan, 41 districts of Sindh, eight districts of Gilgit Baltistan, ten districts of AJK, and one district of KPK.
Campaign Amidst the Pandemic
The eradication campaign is sending more than 200,000 frontline workers to every doorstep. The efforts of the Government in addition to the hardwork of the frontline workers will save our country from the crippling disease. Furthermore, strict measures will ensure the safety of the workers and children during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The frontline staff will wear PPE, face shields and masks to protect against the spread of the COVID-19. The pandemic is still upon us with the threat of another wave during winters.
Dr. Rana Safdar, Coordinator of the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) of the Eradication Programme said,
“While we may have not achieved zero cases, the Pakistan Polio Programme has been able to secure the future of millions of children by continued vaccination. Despite multiple challenges, our frontline workers remain committed and are the real heroes. Today, on World Polio Day, we are celebrating and recognizing their achievements,”.
“World’s eyes are focused on Pakistan, and the government is committed to eradicate the virus from the country. Now it’s up to the parents and society as a whole to vaccinate their children and open doors to frontline workers to get rid of not only polio but all other vaccine preventable diseases,” added Dr. Safdar.
Polio is a crippling disease caused by poliovirus. The virus can affect children under the age of five years by compromising their nervous system. Moreover, it can prove fatal or cause paralysis.
Our only bet against the virus is getting our children vaccination for it, as there is no known cure.