ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The World Polio Day is being observed around the world including Pakistan on Friday to create awareness about the hazards of the crippling disease.
The World Polio Day is observed annually on October 24, which marks the birth of United States virologist Jonas Salk who was the leader of the team that invented a polio vaccine in 1955.
Pakistan is one of only three countries in the world where polio remains endemic; the other two are Afghanistan and Nigeria.
As many as 217 cases of polio have been reported in the current year in Pakistan. However, as compared to Pakistan’s number of polio cases, 12 cases were reported from Afghanistan and only six from Nigeria during the current year.
In their separate messages on the occasion of World Polio Day today, President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif have reiterated the government’s resolve to eradicate polio from the country.
The president and the prime minister said that the government would continue to pursue zero-tolerance policy towards polio eradication campaign.
President Mamnoon said that the government is taking all possible measures to control the polio virus. He said that the mobilization of civil society, religious and local communities and the media is a testimony of our sincere efforts to eradicate the menace.
The president appreciated international partners, foreign governments and international NGOs for their valuable assistance towards fight against polio.
The prime minister said that the government is undertaking suitable measures to curb the disease and Pakistan would be made a polio-free country soon. He said that the government devised a national emergency action plan 2014 to eradicate Polio.