Health Secretary meets Polio delegation
ISLAMABAD (VOM) – Federal Health Secretary Dr Muhammad Fakhre Alam met the Pakistan Polio Programme leadership to discuss the state of polio eradication efforts in the country.
Dr. Muhammad Fakhre Alam took charge of his responsibilities as health secretary and called a meeting on polio within two days of taking office. The meeting was attended by Director General Health, Dr. Rana Safdar, and National Emergency Operations Centre Coordinator Dr. Shahzad Baig.
The Federal Health Secretary discussed the current strategies and the way forward to overcome the persistent challenges to polio eradication.
“The resurgence of cases is a national emergency and risk assessment will be done again across Pakistan on the basis of current epidemiological data. We must consistently work on ways to strategize better and ensure that every last child receives the life-saving polio vaccine,” said Dr muhammad Fakhre Alam
“All cases this year, which are eight so far, have been reported from North Waziristan, namely Mir Ali and Miranshah, while all southern districts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa remain at high-risk,” Dr Shahzad Baig said in his briefing to the Health Secretary, adding that the programme was vaccinating at all transit points to mitigate the risk of wild poliovirus transmission to other parts of the country.
“Parents and caregivers who refuse vaccination for their children are putting them at risk of lifelong disabilities,” the Health Secretary emphasized.
“Every child has a right to a safe and healthy life,” Dr. Fakhre Alam added.
Afghanistan and Pakistan are the only two polio-endemic countries left in the world. Both countries synchronized nationwide immunization campaigns between 23 – 27 May, vaccinating nearly 50 million children under the age of five on both sides of the border.