ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has launched a nationwide five-day anti-polio drive by administering polio drops to a child below five years of age at his office on Monday.
The special polio campaign of varied duration is taking place in 124 districts of the country from today onwards. During the drive, polio teams will administer vaccine drops to over 33 million children under five years of age.
— Prime Minister's Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO) June 7, 2021
The federal government has chalked out a comprehensive national emergency programme against polio, which is being carried out across the country in joint collaboration with the provinces. The provincial health departments have appealed to the parents to get their children vaccinated against the poliovirus.
Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan held a telephonic conversation with philanthropist Bill Gates and exchanged views on the COVID-19 situation and polio eradication efforts in Pakistan.
The prime minister shared Pakistan’s policy to control and mitigate the deleterious impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on health and the economy. He apprised Bills Gates of Pakistan’s national coordinated efforts being implemented through ‘smart lockdowns’ aimed at saving people from dying from the virus and hunger.
PM Imran Khan acknowledged the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s continued support of the Ehsaas Programme, which would help the most vulnerable segments of Pakistan’s population benefit from its expertise in health, nutrition and financial inclusion.
He commended the Gates Foundation’s strong advocacy for the provision of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines to all developing countries. He reaffirmed that the eradication of polio remained a key priority of the government.
While thanking the Gates Foundation for its critical support in building Pakistan’s emergency management capacity for Polio eradication, the prime minister highlighted that anti-polio campaigns were being intensified across the country. He added that SAPM on Health Dr Faisal Sultan and his team would continue to collaborate with his Foundation for the eradication of polio.
Bill Gates acknowledged Pakistan’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic while stimulating economic growth. Both agreed to continue working together on the shared objectives of eradicating polio and combating the COVID-19 pandemic.