NPMT Resolves to Keep the Momentum Going

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Islamabad, November 2017: The National Polio Management Team reviewed the progress and discussed the challenges pertaining to the implementation of the National Emergency Action Plan for polio eradication in its recently held meeting at national EOC the other day.

The meeting was chaired by Prime Ministers Focal Person Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq with Coordinator for National EOC Dr. Rana Muhammad Safdar and was attended by coordinators from all the provinces as well as representatives from the Capital Development Authority, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu Kashmir.

Senator Ayesha welcomed the participants to the National EOC and said that this year has seen the lowest polio case count in Pakistan with just 5 cases being reported across the country. She emphasised that “while you should be proud of your achievements, everyone does need to work harder to reach the goal of zero,” adding that the meeting is a platform to express the challenges and the support required from national EOC to meet those challenges.

National EOC Coordinator Dr. Safdar said that “We need to analyse what we are doing and see if it will take us to where we want to go which is achieving zero”. He highlighted the fact that despite significant improvement, virus circulation is still rampant in the hotspots of Karachi, Quetta block and KP and that 20% of the environment samples are positive across the country. He advised “that everyone needs to identify their issues and provide strategies to address the gaps.”

The coordinators of provincial EOCs apprised the federal team about their progress during the first quarter in general and particularly on the recently concluded October campaign. They also put forward key challenges being faced by the provincial teams and the strategy they have employed to manage those obstacles before the upcoming November campaign (scheduled from 20 November across the country).

Some of the common challenges mentioned by provincial teams were regarding developing a coordination to vaccinate seasonal and economic migrants within the country and at international borders. National team appreciated the coordination efforts and hoped that majority of the moving population will be vaccinated during every campaign without any fail. Provincial teams also briefed the meeting about their preparations to manage persistent transmission of Polio virus in the reservoirs of Quetta Block, especially Kill Abdullah and Karachi and ensured that high-level commitment at all levels will be ensured till finishing the job.

 

The national EOC offered its full support to address the challenges and urged the provincial teams to further strengthen their coordination to end transmission. Need for supportive supervision was highlighted by National EOC.

 

Dr. Safdar in his concluding remarks while thanking the provincial colleagues, said that meeting was very encouraging as it helped us identify remaining challenges and find a way forward through collective wisdom.