Health Minister Saira Afzal Tarar review Pakistan Polio situation – Directs early preparation of PC-1 for next three years to sustain progress

Islamabad, January 11, 2018 (PPI-OT):Federal Minister for National Health Services Saira Afzal Tarar chaired a high level meeting here today to review Pakistan’s polio situation. Director General Health Dr. Assad Hafeez, National Coordinator for Polio Dr. Rana Safdar, representative of Pakistan Army and international partner agencies attended. The Minister while expressing satisfaction over the significant progress made by the country in arresting the spread of polio, directed to redouble efforts to meet the remaining challenges and rid the country of the disease. She said the country has reported the lowest ever cases in the history of the polio effort.

The Minister was given a detailed briefing by National Coordinator Polio Eradication Dr. Rana Muhammad Safdar. Detail of the eight cases reported last year was shared with the Minister. The Minister noted with satisfaction the improved polio situation in parts of the country including FATA. She directed to engage leadership of Balochistan to meet specific challenges to the campaign. She directed further strengthening of cross border collaboration with Afghanistan.

The Minister stressed upon the critical importance of sustainability of resources to ensure that the program continues to operate after stopping transmission of poliovirus as per standard internationally practice. To this end, she directed for early finalization of PC-21 for 2019-2021. Representative of Pakistan Army briefed in detail on the support being provided by the armed forces in ensuring accessibility and security of polio teams.

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