LAHORE - The Punjab government has launched an Emergency Operation Center for Polio Eradication in the provincial capital.

During the inauguration ceremony on Thursday, Adviser on Health Khawaja Salman expressed his satisfaction over the situation of polio in Punjab, saying that only three cases had been reported from Punjab out of 276 polio cases at national level.

“Due to constant monitoring by CM Punjab Shahbaz Sharif and Chief Secretary Naveed Akram of anti-polio measures and continuous efforts of all stakeholders, we achieved such a target. However, detection of even one polio case is a matter of concern,” he added.

Punjab Health Secretary Jawad Rafiq Malik, DG Health Dr Zahid Pervaiz, representatives of WHO, Bill & Melanda Gate Foundation, Unicef, Rotary Club and Health Department officers, public representatives and Parliamentary Secretary on Health Khawaja Imran Nazir were present on the occasion. The adviser said that establishment of emergency operation center would provide an opportunity for every stakeholder to sit under one roof in low transmission season of polio virus. “It will help us evolve an effective strategy and take measures for implementation of action plan against polio,” he said, adding that it would not only save time but also would enable experts and organisers to take timely measures with consensus.

He said that this provincial center would help in E-monitoring of emergency operation centers set up in all districts, besides supervision of the performance of vaccinators.

He further said that modern communication facilities had been provided in EOC which would enable to maintain a close contact with authorities and departments of other provinces through video conferences.

Salman also thanked International Development Partners for extending cooperation in anti-polio efforts.