ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed the relevant authorities in the federal and provincial governments to undertake effective immunization and awareness campaigns to check the incidence of polio.
He was chairing a high-level meeting in Islamabad on Wednesday which took stock of polio incidence in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and other parts of the country, Radio Pakistan reported.
PM Imran Khan stated that polio eradication is the top-most priority of the government as it affects the future generation. He also expressed concerns over the recent spike in polio cases.
The prime minister stressed upon the need for a robust partnership between ‘Ehsaas’ and polio eradication program for synergized implementation of the two vital programs.
PM’s Focal Person on Polio Eradication Babar Bin Atta briefed the meeting about the report of International Monitoring Board for the year 2017-18 identifying loopholes in the strategy at that time which led to the recent spike of polio cases in some parts of the country, especially Bannu division.
He also highlighted various measures being taken for perception management including engagement with social media platforms to counter anti-vaccine propaganda, involving mainstream media for a mass awareness campaign, establishment of round the clock call center.
On the occasion, the Chief Ministers of KP and Balochistan and the Chief Secretaries of Punjab and Sindh apprised the meeting about the measures taken for polio eradication in their respective provinces.
The representatives of Pakistan Army assured full support to polio teams in their efforts to reach out to the children in far-flung areas of the country. While representatives of international partners and donors also assured their continued cooperation to the government of Pakistan in polio eradication mission.
Deputy Director Polio Bill and Melinda Gates Dr Tim Peterson also presented a letter of appreciation from Bill Gates to the premierr for the efforts being made to eliminate the crippling disease.