ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif in a meeting on Thursday in Islamabad with a delegation of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative has reassured unwavering support and commitment to eradicate polio from Pakistan.
The delegation was led by Dr. Christopher Elias, Chair Polio Oversight Board and President Global Development Program of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and included Regional Director, WHO Dr. Ahmed Al-Mandhari, Regional Director, UNICEF, Mr George Laryea-Adjei, Mr. Aziz Memon, National Chair NPPC, Rotary International and officials of the donors and partners of polio eradication program.
The Federal Minister for National Health Services & Regulations Abdul Qadir Patel was also present at the meeting.
Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif thanked the delegation for its untiring efforts regarding polio eradication in Pakistan.
The prime minister also highlighted the government’s efforts which have resulted in containing the spread of the virus to the extent that major parts of the Country are now polio free whereby only few pockets are left which are being targeted in the periodic polio campaigns.
Shahbaz Sharif also assured the delegation that the teams in the field are given high level security and Pakistan will never allow anyone to sabotage this national effort.
Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif directed the Federal Minister for National Health Services Abdul Qadir Patel to immediately visit Peshawar and synergize efforts with the provincial government’s authorities for gearing up efforts to vaccinate children against polio virus, particularly targeting those pockets in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where polio virus is still present.
Dr. Christopher Elias conveyed special regards of Bill Gates and informed that Mr. Gates is thankful to Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif for his personal interest to the cause of polio eradication from Pakistan.
The Country Director UNICEF briefed the prime minister about the relief efforts in flood hit areas of the Country and polio campaigns in those areas.
The delegation also lauded the Prime Minister for keeping the politics aside and working with the provincial governments for polio eradication from the Country.