As new polio cases set the alarm bells ringing, the Federal Health Secretary Dr Fakhar Alam Irfan on Saturday directed the authorities concerned to expedite polio eradication efforts after the eighth case of the year surfaced in Miranshah in North Waziristan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) on May 3.
It is the eighth poliovirus case in the last 15 months.
A spokesperson of the health ministry said that the meeting, chaired by the secretary, was attended by Rana Muhammad Safdar, Coordinator National Emergency Operations Center for Polio Eradication and other related officials.
The national coordinator briefed the participants regarding the current poliovirus situation in the country along with prevailing challenges. He said that the cases have surfaced in the areas where the polio program was already facing challenges.
The health secretary directed scientific reassessment of poliovirus spread risk in Pakistan along with training of the vaccinators in light of prevailing challenges.
Dr Alam instructed to provide special training to the polio workers and persuade people on vaccinating their children against the virus by removing doubts with the help of local elders.
He emphasized that every polio worker should consider eradication of the crippling virus as ‘personal mission’ while ensuring implementation of effective strategy where the chances of virus spread are high.
The health secretary also directed to expedite efforts for eradication of the poliovirus on emergency basis and urged the parents to ensure immunization of their children aged below five years as their refusal may lead to lifetime disability.
Dr Alam said that every child had the right to spend a healthy life.
On the occasion, DG Health Rana Safdar said helplessness and disability is not the future of our children, adding that the war against the virus could not be won without the help of the people.
Safdar said they have pledged to uproot the virus and added that every faction of the society has to play their role for this purpose.