Islamabad, September 9, 2015: Today leading civil society representatives and activists gathered at a forum organised by Mediations Pakistan to extend the commitment to support Immunization and Polio Eradication initiative in the country. Leaders from different shades of lives agreed to form a National Child Health Consortium to raise their voice in creating an enabling environment for polio workers to perform their tasks and build a positive perception in the society for Routine Immunization services. Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq, Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Polio also participated in the consortium meeting to present the efforts of the Government undertaken to curb the polio menace.

Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq while commenting on the efforts of the Government of Pakistan said that under the oversight of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Pakistan Polio Program has made many gains and we are putting our all-out efforts in pushing the poliovirus towards the finish line. While commenting on the Mandatory Immunization Bill tabled by her in Senate of Pakistan, she said that it is an effort to improve the current state of immunization. “It is our collective responsibility as a society to protect our children and we owe a healthy life to our future generation”, said Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq.

Participants, during a candid discussion, spoke on the ground realities being faced by the communities and suggested means to enhance awareness and demand for the immunization services in the country. Key participants include Ms. Tahira Abdullah, Human rights activist, Ms. Mehnaz Aziz Akbar, educationist, Dr. Rakhshanda Parveen, gender expert, Mr. Asmat ullah Niazi, PTV, Mr. Ammar Masood, columnist, Mr. Irfan Ahmed Urfi, play write, Ms. Meraj Humayun, MPA, Mr. Ajmal Khan Wazir, PMLQ, Mr. Hanan Ali Abbasi, Youth activist, Mr. Zar Ali Khan Afridi, Child rights activist, Mr. Haroon Rasheed, BBC Urdu, Mr. Alamzeb Khan, Mishaal Radio, Mr. Kamran Khawaja, FM 100, Ms. Shazma Haleem, Anchor AVT Khyber,

Earlier Mr. Wajih Akhtar, Chairman Board, MEDIATIONS set the context and objectives of the National Child health Consortium. He said that the basic objective of the consortium is to enhance the awareness on the routine Immunization and polio among communities and society at large to create an enabling environment for vaccinators to perform their job and to manage perception of target groups making them more receptive towards immunization services. MEDIATIONS is a non-profit, media development organization working to raise the profile of social issues in media.