Polio is a global scourge with the potential to debilitate flower of nations. It is a humanitarian issue requiring coordinated supranational preventive and remedial action. Gravely aware that the number of children paralyzed by wild polio virus this year was the highest in a decade my government devised a National Emergency Action Plan 2014 aimed at eradicating Polio from Pakistan that was duly approved by Executive Committee of National Economic Council and fully funded till 2018.
The National Polio Eradication Plan is diligently supervised by a dedicated focal person based in office of the Prime Minister who consistently monitors activity and performance of responsible personnel operating at federal, provincial, district, tehsil and union council levels. Emergency Operations Cells have been established in two provinces and will soon be expanded to cover all provinces.
Our anti-Polio efforts are based upon a country specific, contextually designed implementation strategy. Well designed anti-Polio drives are periodically conducted countrywide during which anti-Polio vaccines are orally administered along with creating awareness about the hazards of the disease as well as methods of preventing it.
My government has specifically solicited the support for conducting widespread anti-Polio vaccination from prominent religious authorities through obtaining sharia based legal pronouncements (Fatawa). In addition the assistance of media and civil society is also obtained and channelized to strengthen this vital national exercise.
I can assure that we are undertaking suitable measures to curb the current trend and I am confident that we possess adequate capacity to reverse it and soon make Pakistan polio free. We owe this to our people, our children and the world community.
I call this opportunity to exhort all parents and caregivers to play their part by helping the government in reaching every child for oral polio vaccination so that our future generations grow physically healthy and free of polio.