Senator Ayesha Appreciates UNICEF Support For
Polio Eradication Angela Believes Pakistan Set To Eradicate Polio
Chitral Times Report
Islamabad: Prime Minister’s Focal Person for Polio Eradication,
Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq said that “UNICEF support has been
imperative throughout the observed turn around in polio eradication
in the country and our partnership will continue even after we get
rid of this deadly disease from Pakistan and the globe.”
Senator made these observations while bidding farewell to the
outgoing country representative of UNICEF in Pakistan Ms. Angela
Kearney here at the National Emergency Operation Centre. She said
that UNICEF has played an active role in helping Pakistan reach so
close to the finish line in the fight against polio. “Angela and
her entire team will be remembered for their valuable contributions
towards the progress of polio program,” said the Senator.
Senator Ayesha said that recently finalized NEAP 2017-18 showcases
our resolve as we are further committing to maintain our
aggressiveness to finish the job. This will require additional
support from all our global partners including UNICEF, WHO, BMGF,
IsDB and more importantly GPEI.
She said that Pakistan continues to make strides towards the goal
of WPV interruption. As of today, Pakistan has reported only 3 WPV1
cases in 2017 compared to 14 in the same time period of 2016
signifying almost 80% decline.
Situation in core reservoirs continues to improve further with only
ONE case reported from Killa Abdullah – Quetta Block with onset of
11 June 2017 (92% point in time reduction in core reservoirs). The
remaining 2 cases occurred in remote areas outside the traditional
active transmission zones.
She informed the outgoing UNICEF CR that the main focus of the
program is on Quetta Block due to extensive population movements
across the border with Afghanistan. In 2017, we have witnessed one
case in Killa Abdullah and 2 cases each in Helmand and Kandhar
indicating intensity of virus transmission on either side of the
Reciprocating her feelings for the program leadership and the
Senator, UNICEF CR Angela Kearney said that “With full presence of
community based vaccinators and successful implementation of
different strategies to consistently reach all children, stopping
transmission looks well within reach.”
The LQAS and PCM results since April 2017 have shown overall high
coverage of above 95% and pass rate and environmental samples have
also started turning increasingly green despite high transmission
National coordinator for Emergency Operation Centre, Dr Rana Safdar
said that Rawalpindi-Islamabad is another hotspot where intense
efforts are underway to clean the virus from environment. He said
that dedicated national teams and global partners are equally
taking up the challenge of fighting out the virus in Karachi. “All
these areas are equally important and we cannot afford any leniency
at this point in time,” he added.
Routine immunization continues to be of critical importance as we
head towards literally the last mile in the fight against Polio.
All three cases in 2017 have been Zero routine immunization.