Pakistan’s efforts to eradicate polio praised by UN agencies

Roman AhmedWeb Editor

12th Jun, 2021. 09:58 pm
Remove term: anti-Polio campaign anti-Polio campaign

The United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization (WHO) have praised the Government of Pakistan’s constant determination to eradicate polio from the country.

The UN agencies applauded the strenuous efforts made to make sure inoculation programs sustained even during COVID-19 heaves in the country.

Both agencies urged for greater unity and more investment to tolerate the impetus and reach every child with life-saving vaccines.

These statements were made by UNICEF South Asia Regional Director George Laryea-Adjei and WHO Eastern Mediterranean Regional Director Dr. Ahmed Al-Mandhari as they decided on a week-long joint visit to Pakistan.

The visit concurs with the first Polio Oversight Board visit to the country, and the launch of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s new 2022-2026 strategy.

“We know that the most important relationship in polio eradication is between the vaccinator and the child’s family. Without communication and trust, there is no vaccination.” Said UNICEF Regional Director George Laryea-Adjei.

“This week, I have seen a renewed focus on bolstering that relationship in the most high-risk areas of Pakistan. I appreciate the huge role played by frontline works in building that trust, and the support provided by the Government and partners to these front-line workers. I leave Pakistan filled with hope that all hands are on deck to finish the last mile in the journey to eradicate polio in the country.”

Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only countries where wild poliomyelitis is widespread and together establish one epidemiological block.

After losing grip during the COVID-19 pandemic, a time when the polio programs in each country retooled as pandemic support, cases of wild poliovirus are down once again, to just one to date in 2021 in each of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

During their assignment, Dr. Al-Mandhari and Laryea-Adjei much-admired the successes yet cautioned against contentment and advised to continue hard work until to reach the last child with vaccination.

 

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