Islamabad, 27 January, 2016 - A delegation from Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) consisting of Micheal Zaffran (Director of Polio at World Health Organization), Reza Hossani (Global Team Lead Polio UNICEF), Jay Wenger (BMGF) called upon Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq, Prime Minister’s Focal Person for Polio Eradication on Wednesday. The meeting was also attended by Dr. Rana Muhammad Safdar, Coordinator of the National Emergency Operation Centre.

The delegation met to discuss Pakistan’s ongoing efforts to eradicate polio and to appreciate the progress in the last 8 months. The delegation commended the oversight provided by Prime Minister of Pakistan and the establishment of the National and Provincial Emergency Operation Center in improving operations. They also applauded the steps taken to address key areas of continued circulation: greater Peshawar, FATA, Quetta Block and Karachi.

The GPEI partners, who are visiting Pakistan ahead of the Technical Advisory Group meeting, committed to extend their ongoing support to the Government of Pakistan to ensure the gains made in 2015 are maintained.Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two countries left with poliovirus circulation and are considered as one epidemiological block. GPEI members requested Senator Farooq to continue coordinating and to enhance support to Afghanistan.

Pakistan is closer than it’s ever been to eradicate polio in 2016. Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq acknowledged the support extended by GPEI. “None of the gains we have made would have been possible without the commitment of these partners.”