Dr Nadeem Jan commits to taking all measures to elevate Pakistan to the ranks of polio-free countries.
ISLAMABAD, August 18, 2023 – Dr Nadeem Jan, Caretaker Federal Health Minister, visited the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) on his first day in office and affirmed that polio eradication will feature prominently among his principal priorities during his tenure.
Speaking at the NEOC on Friday, Dr Jan stated: “This visit holds great significance for me. I will ensure that every conceivable measure is undertaken to elevate Pakistan to the ranks of polio-free countries. Treat me as a worker of the programme and I will do anything that needs to be done to interrupt transmission by the global deadline.”
Federal Secretary of Health, Iftikhar Shallwani, said: “The Health Ministry has been actively involved in the Polio Programme in the past few months and we will ensure that the focus on polio remains unwavering. We are very lucky to have a seasoned public health specialist as a leader with in-depth knowledge and experience of polio eradication efforts.”
Dr Jan met the entire team at the NEOC, visited the Polio Control Room and discussed the current priorities for the Polio Programme.
Dr Shahzad Baig, the Coordinator at the NEOC, said: "The presence of the Minister of Health at NEOC on his inaugural day holds immense significance for our programme. Your direct involvement and oversight underscores your commitment. We are very grateful for your visit and support."
Dr Jan is a recipient of the Tamgha-i-Imtiaz and Sitara-i-Imtiaz and has worked with the UN, USAID, World Bank, EU, DFID and international non-government organisations for the past two decades. He has managed complex emergencies in challenging environments like Somalia, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Philippines, Kenya, Afghanistan, and the districts part of the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
Dr Jan also played a key role in the development and implementation of the Lady Health Workers Programme and has closely worked with the Pakistan Polio Programme in the past.
Pakistan has reported two polio cases this year. Both children belong to Bannu, one of the seven endemic districts in southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.