Islamabad, Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a high level meeting at PM ‘s office on Wednesday to take stock of polio incidence in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and certain other parts of the country.
The meeting was attended by Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mehmood Khan, Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan, SAPM on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza, PM’s Focal Person on Polio Eradication Babar Bin Atta, Engineer- in-Chief of Pakistan Army Lt. Gen. Moazzam Ejaz, High Commissioner of Canada to Pakistan Ms. Wendy Gilmore, Federal Secretary Health, Chief Secretaries of Punjab, KP, Sindh & Balochistan, representatives from UNICEF, WHO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and senior officials.
PM’s Focal Person on Polio Eradication briefed the meeting in detail regarding the recent incidence, measures being taken and the future strategy for polio eradication.
PM’s Focal Person on Polio Eradication Babar Bin Atta briefed the meeting about the report of International Monitoring Board for the year 2017-18 identifying loopholes in the strategy at that time which led to recent spike of polio cases in some parts of the country, especially Bannu division.
Mr. Babar also briefed the meeting about the new strategy which is based on four new pillars including shift from push to pull, from disease control to eradication, ownership at the highest level and ensuring complete accountability at the operational level.
He also highlighted various measures being taken for perception management including engagement with social media platforms to counter anti-vaccine propaganda, involving mainstream media for mass awareness campaign, establishment of 24/7 call center and publicizing environment or human cases.
Chief Ministers of KP and Balochistan and the Chief Secretaries of Punjab and Sindh apprised the meeting regarding measures taken for polio eradication in their respective provinces.
The Prime Minister stated that Polio Eradication is the top-most priority of the Government as it affects the future generation. Expressing serious concern over the recent spike in polio cases, the PM directed officials concerned in the federal as well as provincial governments to undertake effective awareness and immunization campaigns to check the incidence of polio.
The Prime Minister also stressed upon the need for a robust Ehsaas Polio Partnership for synergized implementation of the two vital programs.
The representative of Pak Army assured full support to polio teams in their efforts to reach out to the children in far-flung areas of the country.
Representatives of international partners and donors also assured their continued cooperation to the Government of Pakistan in polio eradication mission. Dr. Tim Peterson, Deputy Director Polio Bill & Melinda Gates also presented a letter of appreciation from Mr. Bill Gates to the Prime Minister for efforts being made to eliminate the crippling disease.