Pakistan's response on wild polio virus

Senator demands effective monitoring of anti-polio committees

ISLAMABAD – The Riphah International University has organised a day-long seminar on wild polio virus – Public Health Emergency and Pakistan's Response – to assess the country wise status of the wild polio-virus as well as response and measures for the eradication of polio virus.

The representatives from the government, World Health Organization, National Institute for Health, medical colleges, hospitals, experts, researchers and eminent scientists, students, practitioners and member of civil society also attended the seminar in which Senate’s Standing Committee on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Chairman Zafar Ali Shah was the chief guest.

The senator said that Pakistan was at a critical juncture and intensified polio eradication activities and the programme relied on strong administrative and political leadership. Effective supervision and monitoring of the Polio Eradication Committees and strong motivation of frontline workers will be instrumental in achieving polio eradication, he added.

The dilemma of Muslims countries was that among the 56 countries only Indonesia produced polio vaccine, he observed. Senator Zafar also highlighted that Pakistan was committed to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) through the Health Sector Reforms (HRS) by focusing on provision of basic health service to the people at their doorsteps and all steps might be undertaken by various institutions through a holistic and integrated strategy for declaring Pakistan as polio free country.

Riphah International University Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Anis Ahmad said it was a platform to discuss and share the dynamics of the current challenges and taking a holistic view to address the situation. WHO representative Dr Raheem Agha pointed out holistic review about polio disease and emphasized on civil society to take part in war against polio to eradicate it at the earliest.

National Institute of Health Executive Director Dr Barjees Mahzar Qazi and Dr Huma Khawar delivered brief note on causes, affects of polio. Prof Dr Masood Anwar, Dean Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, gave a detailed orientation of the present situation and way forward.

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