‘Polio must be eradicated in Pakistan as well’

Polio is a thing of the past in most areas of the world, and it must become so in Pakistan as well. Our mission is to get the polio vaccine to every child and secure a polio-free planet for future generations.

During a visit to the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) here on Tuesday, Minister for Health Abdul Qadir Patel reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to polio elimination. He was joined by Special Secretary Iftikhar Shalwani and Secretary Health Aamir Ashraf Khawaja, who was later removed from his job and told to report to the Establishment Division.

“It is a pleasure to see such a professionally run institution. This visit was a great opportunity to engage with staff members of the polio programme and understand the complex challenges that persist. We need open conversations and continued engagement to reach the end of polio in Pakistan,” said Patel, who visited Bannu early this month to meet the families of children affected by polio.

“Polio eradication is among our highest priorities and at this time it is crucial to amplify our efforts and reach the end of polio in Pakistan,” said Aamir Ashraf. Agreeing, Iftikhar Shalwani added, “We can no longer harbour a disease that paralyses our children when we can save them with a very simple and safe vaccine.”