Pakistan’s polio eradication efforts lauded by GPEI

Islamabad: A delegation from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) called on the Prime Minister’s Focal Person for Polio Eradication Ayesha Raza Farooq here to discuss Pakistan’s ongoing efforts for polio eradicate.

The delegation consisted of Micheal Zaffran (director of polio at the World Health Organization), Reza Hossani (global team lead for polio at UNICEF) and Jay Wenger (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation). The GPEI partners are visiting Pakistan ahead of the Technical Advisory Group meeting. They committed to extend their ongoing support to the government to ensure the gains made in 2015 are maintained in the year ahead.

The delegation applauded the steps taken to address key areas of continued circulation i.e., greater Peshawar, FATA, Quetta Block and Karachi.

Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two countries left with poliovirus circulation and are considered as one epidemiological block. GPEI members requested Senator Farooq to continue coordinating and to enhance support to Afghanistan.

“Pakistan is closer than ever to eradicating polio in 2016,” Ayesha said, adding “None of the gains we have made would have been possible without the commitment of these partners.”

The meeting was also attended by Dr. Rana Muhammad Safdar, coordinator of the National Emergency Operation Centre.

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