LAHORE - The Punjab Emergency Operation Center (EOC) announced Pakistan’s leading tennis player Ushna Suhail as youth ambassador for child health here at the Directorate General Health Services on Wednesday.

The announcement was made in the provincial EOC in a meeting presided over by Director General Health Services Punjab Dr Syed Mukhtar Hussain, who awarded the certificate to the player. Officials of the Punjab Expanded Program on Immunization, UNICEF, WHO, Gates Foundations and Rotary International were also present there. The EOC is a joint platform of provincial health department and international development partners with the former providing strategic leadership.

Speaking on the occasion, Ushna said she was honored to have been given the opportunity to serve her nation. “This is a great honour for me and I will do my best to carry the message of immunization across to all parents. As a role model for children, who are our future sports figures, I have an obligation towards their people and I will always be there for voluntary work towards immunization,” she said.

The tennis player said Pakistan’s brighter side needed to be shown to the world. “Being a sports figure, I will show the brighter side of the country to the entire world.” Later, she also visited the Government Girls School Ichra.

Ushna, who is first Pakistani player to have achieved WTA World ranking since 2014 and won two bronze medals for Pakistan in the 12th South Asian Games in India recently, will serve as youth ambassador for child health especially polio and routine immunization. She has represented Pakistan in Fed Cup consecutively for five years (2011-2015) and has won most number of singles and double matches for Pakistan. She also is first woman to have represented the country in Asian Games in Sept 2014.

She has won Monty Tour Spanish Tennis Tournament title in Barcelona and also recipient of Prime Minister’s Certificate of Excellence and Chief Minister Award in recognition of tennis services at national and international competitions. She has received training at Kim Clijsters Academy in Belgium, Sania Mirza Tennis Academy in India and Asian Tennis Academy in Bangkok.

Director General Health Services Punjab Dr Syed Mukhtar Hussain Syed said polio had negative symbolism for the country and hence was declared a national emergency. He said given the scale of polio as a national problem, the health department needed support from all national figures. He thanked Ushna for coming forward for immunization and polio eradication.