ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that his government is striving to make Pakistan a polio-free country for which a comprehensive plan is in practice.

Launching the three-day polio campaign in Islamabad on Friday, the Prime Minister said, “The plan is characterised by greater ownership, oversight and accountability mechanisms at the federal, provincial, district and union council levels and proposes strategies to ensure access to troubled areas.”

He said that over 33.4 million children up to the age of five years will be administered polio drops during the current polio campaign starting from Monday.

Gilani said due to government efforts, the country has reported far fewer cases compared to the same period last year. He said poliovirus has been restricted to fewer areas and key challenge of inaccessibility in Fata is being met with an excellent civil-military coordination mechanism. 

He said we must ensure that all children moving out of Fata are immunised at special polio points at agency borders.

He said the quality of polio campaign launched first by Shaheed Benazir Bhutto in 1994 is improving. From forty two percent districts reporting 95 per cent coverage in 2011, we have now progressed to eighty per cent districts reporting 95 percent coverage.  He said he is personally monitoring the polio campaign and confident of achieving the objective of polio free Pakistan. 

Appreciating Punjab for its performance in restricting spread of polio virus, Prime Minister Gilani said even one case in the low transmission season should be a cause for alarm for us.

He called upon all the Chief Ministers, Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir to keep this issue on the top of their agenda and ensure their personal involvement and leadership in this campaign.

He also urged the parliamentarians, media, civil society organizations and religious scholars to play their in the success of polio campaign. On the occasion, Prime Minister Gilani also administered polio drops to the children.