ISLAMABAD   -   Pakistan People’s Party chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari yesterday said that polio-free Pakistan was the dream of his mother Benazir Bhutto and the nation had to work dedicatedly to transform this dream into reality.

In his message on the eve of World Polio Day, the PPP Chairman said that the crippling disease of polio had no cure and it can only be prevented by the vaccination exercise being conducted worldwide. 

“African region has now been declared polio-free while the cases but few cases are still being reported from Pakistan and Afghanistan,” he added.

Bilawal said that former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto launched polio vaccination in Pakistan with the support of international organizations and nation’s reached very close to being declared completely polio-free.

He appreciated the health officials and polio teams, especially the Lady Health Workers, who have been fighting the virus very dedicatedly for three decades and hoped that with the collective efforts the poliovirus will be eradicated from the country very soon.

Meanwhile, PPP leader Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, who is Rotary Ambassador for Polio, said Pakistan had come a long way in its fight against polio.

“I salute the polio front line workers and the lady health workers who have tirelessly worked towards saving the future generations of Pakistan,” she said.  She added: “Despite the progress made from 306 cases of polio in 2014 to just 12 in 2018, we have once again seen an increase in cases over the last two years. To our great dismay, a previously eradicated strain of wild polio made a resurgence and once again threatened our children.”

Aseefa said: “We are now one of only two countries in the world where children are victims of polio. Our children deserve better than to be paralyzed from a disease that is easily preventable through vaccination. On world polio day I reiterate my belief that if we all work together we can turn this around.”

She said the polio vaccine was the only way to protect your children from this crippling disease. “Give your children polio drops every time they are offered, to save them from disability, to save them from polio and to make Pakistan and the world polio free,” she added. 

The PPP leader said: “This was the dream of my mother Benazir Bhutto and I was the first child to publicly receive the polio vaccine to mark campaign back in 1994, l want to see her dream become a reality. This is our collective responsibility, let’s eradicate polio and make history.”