HYDERABAD - The World Polio Day will be observed today, to mark the birth anniversary of United States’ virologist Jonas Salk who was the leader of the team that invented polio vaccine in 1955.

Talking to APP here on the occasion of World Polio Day, Assistant Deputy Commissioner (ADC) Hyderabad and district administration’s focal person for Polio eradication Shakeel Abro, district focal person polio campaign Hyderabad Dr Syed Masood Hussain Jafri, officer at National Stop transmission of polio programme Dr Jamshed Khanzada, director health Hyderabad & MD (Paeds) Dr Ahmed Hayder, Professor Medicine at LUMHS, jamshoro Dr Bikha Ram Devrajani and others have said that polio had been declared a national emergency and a deployed team of professionals in the Emergency Operation Centre in the provincial health directorate was working hard to achieve the targets.

They said that the joint efforts could help eradicating polio virus from the country.

Responsibility of eradicating polio should not be left to heath sector only, they said adding all had to join hands and minds together to fight against the crippling disease in the country.

They said that the polio had been eradicated in the 121 countries and expressed the hope that people of Pakistan would also hear such news soon.

They said cases of polio had been reported in some parts of the Pakistan as these areas were not accessible due to security reasons.

They said that there was no shortcut to eradicate polio from the country adding, “We have to reach every child to his doorstep to save him from the polio virus”.

They stressed the need of taking religious leaders into confidence that would address the refusals issue. They also emphasized that polio vaccination was completely safe and called for mobilizing religious and other community leaders to extend support for immunization.

They said that WHO, partner governments and agencies pledged continued support to the Pakistan’s polio eradication programme by end of current year and it was noted. All out efforts and high quality campaigns were required in Sindh and Southern Punjab from where most polio cases were reported last year, they added.

They said that though polio disease has been uprooted as a result of continuous drives, but strict care and monitoring were still required against it.

They further said for this purpose, joint struggle of the government, community workers, NGOs, civil society activists and religious scholars was earnestly needed.

They stressed that maintaining a low number of polio cases costs more in terms of human suffering and money as compared to eradicating polio. He said polio could easily be prevented through polio drops.

They urged the teachers, students, scholars, and media to play positive role for creating awareness and educating people.

They emphasised the need of making sincere efforts to combat the disease and make Sindh a polio free province of the country.

They said that the World Polio Day gave us an opportunity to renew our pledge to work with more dedication.