Lahore, July 26, 2015 – To optimally prepare for a final push for a polio free Pakistan,  the 12 districts at the highest risk for polio transmission are meeting with provincial and national Emergency Operation Centre colleagues this week to finalize plans for the coming low season for virus transmission.

“This is an invaluable opportunity to support our priority districts with their preparation and planning while ensuring provincial and national plans are fit to serve them,” said Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq, The Prime Minister’s Focal Point. “We are on track to interrupt transmission but these districts represent the last reservoirs for polio and unless we work together, success is not guaranteed.”

The Honorable Prime Minister of Pakistan Main Muhammad Nawaz Sharif recently approved the National Emergency Action Plan for Polio Eradication(2015-2016), including measurable targets toward the ultimate goal of polio eradication.  The National Emergency Operations Centre has been working very closely with the provincial and district polio eradication teams to develop targeted national, provincial and priority district operational plans.

The districts -- Killa Abdullah, Pishin, Quetta (Balochistan); FR Bannu, Khyber, North Waziristan, South Waziristan (FATA); Bannu, Peshawar, Tank (KP); and Khi Baldia, Khi Gadap (Sindh) --  will finalize their plans in time for the national vaccination campaign on September 14-16.

The number of children paralyzed by wild poliovirus in the first half of 2015 is nearly a quarter of what it was at the same time last year (28 vs 114 as of 18 July 2015).

“We have never had a better opportunity to stop transmission of this terrible disease,” said Madam Ayesha Farooq. “We must do everything possible to support our brave frontline workers to reach and vaccinate every single child.”