ISLAMABAD, Dec 06, 2017: The Prime Minister’s Focal Person for Polio Eradication, Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq appreciated the commitment of Canada in support of polio eradication in Pakistan alongside other donor partners and governments.


Senator Farooq briefed the Canadian delegation, comprising Director General of Global Affairs David Hartman, First Secretary at Canadian High Commission Joseph Sebhatu and Head of Development Cooperation Daniel Joly of the progress achieved toward polio eradication and the overriding priorities for the National Emergency Action Plan for 2017–2018 on the way to interrupt circulation of the wild poliovirus.


“The leadership and government of Pakistan is fully committed to the implementation of National Emergency Action Plan via focused Emergency Operations Centers at National and Provincial levels, with emphasis on evidence-based decision making, a “one-team” approach and effective oversight of performance”, said Senator Farooq.


Director General of Global Affairs Canada David Hartman appreciated the progress made by Pakistan Polio Programme. “Canada remains a proud donor to GPEI and will continue to do so until “the job is done”, he said.


Pakistan Polio Eradication Initiative (PEI) has made considerable progress owing to the high commitment of the government and support at every level, strengthened programme performance, dedicated workforce and vaccination teams and broad community acceptance of the polio vaccine. Consequently, case numbers have come the lowest they have ever been. The number of children paralyzed by the wild poliovirus has dropped from 306 in 2014 to 54 in 2015 to 20 in 2016 and six cases so far in 2017. The immunity gaps continue to decline, however, in pockets of the country where poliovirus continues to be detected, any unvaccinated children remains vulnerable due to continuing circulation of the poliovirus in the environment.