August 15, 2017 - Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi chaired a high level meeting at PM Office in Islamabad, wherein the Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Mrs. Saira Afzal Tarar and Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Polio Eradication Senator Ms. Ayesha Raza Farooq briefed the Prime Minister on progress regarding polio eradication.

The Prime Minister stated that the political leadership is wholeheartedly committed to Polio eradication from Pakistan. “It is a matter of survival of our next generation, hence we take full ownership of polio eradication from the country”, stated the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister directed to immediately call a meeting of the National Task Force on Polio Eradication and stated that he will personally monitor the progress. Polio eradication requires a concerted effort from provincial governments, law enforcing agencies, district administration, civil society and international donors, emphasized the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister expressed satisfaction over the progress made by the Ministry of National Health Services and the National Polio Eradication Program in significantly restricting the polio virus and appreciated support from partner organizations in helping Pakistan towards achieving zero polio incidence.

Pakistan is one of three countries in the world, along with Afghanistan and Nigeria that have endemic polio, a once-common childhood virus that can cause paralysis or death.

The current epidemiology in the country is quite promising with only 3 polio cases reported in 2017 so far. Of most significance is the progress made in the core reservoirs of Karachi and Khyber-Peshawar which have not reported any Polio case since January and February 2016 respectively whereas in Quetta block, one polio case has been reported in 2017 from Killa Abdullah.