ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) of the Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme on Tuesday signed a Letter of Agreement to work together on the mission of polio eradication in the country. 

Through this partnership, PCB and NEOC will conduct a wide range of activities to raise awareness on the importance of polio vaccination.

Under the partnership, to achieve the shared goal of polio eradication, various visibility campaigns will be organised during cricket events for raising awareness of vaccine acceptance in the country through active involvement of cricketers across Pakistan.

“Cricketers, as national heroes are role models for the children and youth of Pakistan. I am glad that they are now formally part of our national mission of polio eradication. Through this partnership cricketers will play an instrumental role in promoting vaccine acceptance. I believe our collective efforts will help achieve the goal of a polio-free Pakistan,” said Dr. Rana Muhammad Safdar, Coordinator of the National Emergency Operations Centre for Polio Eradication.

PCB Chairperson Ehsan Mani and CEO Wasim Khan assured full support of the Pakistan Cricket Board and its associate and affiliate members including Pakistan National Cricket Team players and officials to the Government of Pakistan and its partners in achieving the goal of polio-free Pakistan.

“The PCB is excited to play its role in the aspiration to have a polio-free Pakistan. We, as an organisation, are always ready to step-up and use the platform of cricket to help reach out to the population by raising greater awareness of national causes. The fight against polio starts with greater awareness and promoting a culture of vaccine acceptance. Protecting our society and keeping our children safe from polio remains our collective responsibility,” said Wasim Khan, CEO PCB

Pakistan is one of the two polio endemic countries in the world along with its neighbour Afghanistan. Pakistan is currently facing a challenging situation in polio eradication with the upsurge of number of polio cases. So far this year, a total of 80 polio cases have been reported including 23 from Balochistan, 22 each from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh, and 13 from Punjab.

The Government of Pakistan and Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme partners are confident that through this notable partnership between Pakistan Cricket Board and Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme there will be increase in vaccine acceptance and demand for polio vaccination across Pakistan.