ISLAMABAD, Dec 07, 2017: Dedicated front line health workers (Sehat Muhafiz) and supportive communities have brought us very close to the finish line in the fight against polio but we should remember that polio virus is still present in Karachi, Quetta, Peshawar and Rawalpindi/Islamabad blocks, therefore, every parent should make sure that their children gets polio drops every time Sehat Muhafiz visit their area.


These remarks were made by the Prime Minister’s Focal Person for Polio Eradication, Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq while giving presentation on Pakistan Polio Programme to the visiting President of Rotary International, Ian H.S. Riseley and his delegation here at National Emergency Operation center on Thursday. Thanking the continued support of Rotary International in the fight against polio, Senator said that “Our goal is nothing short of achieving zero and we are vigilantly and proactively identifying the remaining gaps and addressing them under the fully functional network of Emergency Operation Centres,” said the Senator.


She said that government leadership is fully committed to the National Emergency Action Plan, implemented via focused Emergency Operations Centers at National and Provincial levels, with emphasis on evidence-based decision making, a “one-team” approach, front-line workers at the center of the polio eradication effort, effective oversight of performance management and accountability, and a commitment to coordinate with Afghanistan in order to reach and vaccinate high-risk groups.


The current polio epidemiology remains the best we have ever seen in the country. The number of cases has declined from 306 in 2014 to 53 in 2015, and to 20 in 2016. So far, this year, the number of polio cases reported in Pakistan are six as compared to 19 reported by 7th December in 2016 (indicating a 68% decline).


President of Rotary International, Ian H.S. Riseley highly appreciated the tremendous progress made by Pakistan Polio Programme by saying that “scientifically driven decision making with robust management and accountability mechanism shows that Pakistan is well on course to polio eradication and Rotary will extend continued support till the end of this mission.” He said that “together we will be able to make it across the finish line.”


National Polio Chair Polioplus Committee Pakistan Aziz Memon assured that every possible support will be extended to EOC networks for finishing the job. He said that soon rotary will be installing more water filtration plants in high risk areas of Karachi to help improve immunity of local populations. 


Rotary delegation which included District Governor Faiza Qamar, PDG Faiz Kidwai, PDG Saaed Shamsi, PDG Dr. Pervez Ahsan Khan, PAG Masrur J. Scheikh, PAG Tayyaba Gul, PPs Waseem malik and Saaeda Rehman was given a briefing about polio control room.