Islamabad - January 18, 2016In a bid to advance the collaboration for Polio Eradication, a delegation from Canadian High Commission led by Mr. Louis Verret Senior Director, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Sri Lanka division  called on the Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Polio Eradication, Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq today. During the interaction, the members of the delegation were briefed on the year’s first nationwide polio campaign in the country and scale of the efforts being undertaken by the Government of Pakistan to knock the crippling disease from the country.

Prime Minister’s Focal Person for Polio Eradication, Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq, expressed her satisfaction over the quality of work and pace of progress to arrest the circulation of poliovirus transmission across the country. “This is indeed a defining moment for the country as we have marked a record progress in the fight against polio and moving ahead with utmost determination to achieve the goal of Polio Free Pakistan in near future”. 

“Reaching out each and every eligible child during ach polio campaign is a key to push the poliovirus to the ultimate finish line in year 2016.  “The Emergency Polio Eradication Programme is being led and managed by a dedicated network of Emergency Operation Centres at National and provincial levels and we have thousands of dedicated polio heroes in the field to get us to zero polio case, Senator Farooq further added. In 2015 there was 80% reduction in polio cases as compare to year 2014.  The delegation was also briefed on the engagement with different stakeholders in the program including the role of civil society, religious scholars and public representatives.

Dr Rana Safdar, National Emergency Operations Centre Coordinator, said with assistance and trust of the international community, we are firm to achieve the goal.

The Canadian mission also visited the National EOC control room and observed the campaign progress through real time data dashboard. Mr. Luois was impressed at the quality data presentation and encouraged the EOC control room for their hard work. 

Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq acknowledged the support extended by the Government of the Canada. “None of the gains we have made would have been possible without the committed political leadership by Federal and Provincial Governments and the support from international community and partners like Canada.

The Canadian government is historically one of the largest contributor to GPEI. Total contribution from 1995-2014 is 402.06 million USD which seeks polio eradication by increasing coverage, access and the effectiveness of the vaccines in the Routine Immunization.