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Polio Eradication Task Force approves National Emergency Action Plan for 2022-23

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a meeting of the National Task Force for Polio Eradication in Islamabad on Wednesday.

During the meeting, the prime minister appreciated the efforts made by the district administration and provincial governments for their extensive and effective measures during Polio Vaccination drives across the Country.

The prime minister also thanked international partners including WHO, UNICEF, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Rotary International, Gavi for their financial and technical support for Polio Eradication campaigns in Pakistan.

The prime minister emphasized that the low-transmission winter season is the critical time for immunization of children and that “we all should fight against the virus with the killer – instincts”.

Imran Khan said that the international community should come forward to help Afghanistan in the fight against Polio and to avert any kind of humanitarian crisis.

The prime minister directed that other immunization programs should also be synchronized with Polio campaigns in order to achieve maximum coverage and effective results.

The Polio Eradication Task Force was apprised that PC-I amounting to US$ 798.6 million for years 2022-2026 including Foreign Funding and Government of Pakistan share has been finalized and is ready for approval.

Moreover, the National Emergency Action Plan (NEAP) for the next two years (2022-23) is also ready for approval.

It was informed that Pakistan has achieved tremendous success against Polio. From 84 reported cases of Wild Polio Virus (WPV1) cases in the year 2020, the incidence has come down to no case in the last 10 months.

It was informed that the main source of the Wild Polio virus is Afghanistan that ends up in Pakistan due to the migration of Refugees.

It was apprised that Pakistan will qualify for WHO’s “Polio Free” certificate after completion of 36 months of zero incidence. Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Azad Jammu & Kashmir governments apprised the Task Force about updated status of Polio Eradication measures.

Engineer-in-Chief Pakistan Army apprised the Task Force regarding security protection provided to the Polio Immunization teams working in the field.

Representatives of International partner organizations thanked Prime Minister Imran Khan for leading the Polio Eradication campaign and providing full support. They expressed full confidence in the government of Pakistan and committed to work in partnership for this global cause.

The Task Force meeting was attended by SAPM Dr. Faisal Sultan, Governor KP Mr. Shah Farman, Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar, Chief Minister KP Mehmood Khan, Chief Minister GB Mr. Khalid Khurshid Minister for Health Balochistan Mr. Said Ehsan Shah, PM AJ&K Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan Niazi, Engineer-in-Chief Pakistan Army Lt. Gen. Moazzam Ejaz, all Chief Secretaries, Senior Representatives of WHO, UNICEF, CDC, Gavi, Rotary International, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and senior government officers.

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