Islamabad - The Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on polio eradication program urged the government that war against polio is not over until the virus is not eliminated from the core reservoir areas, Monday. 

Dr. Jean-Marc Olivé, Chairman of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Polio Eradication called on Federal Minister for National Health Services, Aamer Mehmood Kiani today where the minister re-affirmed Government’s full support to eradication of polio.

Dr. Jean-Marc commended the efforts of the country team and thousands of frontline workers, backed by law enforcement agencies, and unprecedented Government commitment for polio eradication at all levels.

“The persistent positive environmental samples in the core reservoirs of Peshawar and Karachi, as well as the recent upsurge of positive environmental samples across the country however, mean that the war against polio is far from over,” said Dr. Jean-Marc Olivé. “The inaccessibility related intense virus circulation in shared corridors with Afghanistan further leaves no space for Pakistan to relax till the job is fully done,” he added.

The recent results of September nationwide campaign are quite impressive and with continuation of momentum the country is rightly placed to grab the best opportunity to interrupt virus transmission, said Dr. Jean-Marc Olive.

Health Minister said that the government is making efforts to overcome the remaining challenges as they arise. “We are committed to stopping poliovirus transmission in the core reservoirs and sustaining our highly data-driven programming that effectively guides our operations. Minister expressed his satisfaction in the quality, efficacy and safety of the oral polio vaccine and added that the immunization campaign must ensure that every child under five years of age is vaccinated.

Minister said , in accordance with the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan ensuring basic health, nutrition, and water and safe sanitation services is priority.

 “I am confident that we will soon achieve lasting benefits for the Pakistani people. The success of the Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme is an inspiring model and testament to Pakistan’s capacity to improve its public health service delivery and ensure the health and well-being of its citizens”.

Recently the Prime Minister (PM) approved the national emergency action plan for polio eradication 2018-19 and convening meeting of the National Task Force (NTF) on polio eradication.

 The notification issued said that the PM has seen and is pleased to approve the proposal proposed for polio eradication with the condition that additional resources would not be sought from government to bridge any funding requirement and any extra resources to implement NEAP (2018-19) would be generated from donor agencies/international donors.

The PM has further been pleased to desire that before a meeting of NTF on Polio Eradication is convened, ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination shall initiate a summary for appointment of Prime Minister’s focal person for Polio Eradication, for approval of the PM.