ISLAMABAD: The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) has approved a $60 million supplementary fund for the polio eradication programme in Pakistan.
The new financing has been approved by the IsDB Board of Executive Directors at the virtual meeting held in Jeddah chaired by IsDB President Dr Bandar Hajjar.
This includes a $39m Islamic Development Bank Murabaha and a $21m grant from the IsDB-managed Lives and Livelihoods Fund (LLF).
The Islamic bank had previously contributed $100m to the polio eradication programme and the new supplementary funding takes its total contribution up to the $160m mark.
The statement issued after the meeting said there is still much work to do to end transmission of poliovirus in Pakistan particularly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Meanwhile, the 25th meeting of the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations on the spread of poliovirus held in Geneva has observed that there is still much work to be done to end transmission in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The polio infrastructure that has been developed in Pakistan and Afghanistan has been used to assist with the tracking and tracing as part of the Covid-19 pandemic response.
The IHR Emergency Committee issued a statement saying the poliovirus transmission continues to be widespread in Pakistan as indicated by both acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) – a clinical syndrome that refers to a collection of signs and symptoms – as well as surveillance and environmental sampling.
The transmission of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) continues to be widespread, with southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa becoming a new hotspot and some areas such as Karachi and the Quetta block have uninterrupted transmission. There has also been expansion of WPV1 to previously polio-free areas in Sindh and Punjab.