National Emergency Action Plan for Polio Eradication 2015-16

July 29, 2015

Islamabad, the 29th July, 2015:- Minister for National Health Services Saira Afzal Tarar said  the journey towards a polio free country was never an easy course but now to reach the final destination; it demands a little extra effort, while addressing the concluding session of three day National Emergency Action Plan for Polio Eradication Work Planning Workshop.

 

She said that the biggest challenge faced by the program was insecurity and inaccessibility. With the success of operation Zarb-i-azb and support provided by the armed forces in implementation of the campaign, that challenge is clearly behind us now. And there is no reason why should not achieve the target of zero transmission of the poliovirus.   

She appreciated the efforts undertaken by the provincial governments and current challenges being faced by the provinces and districts during implementation process of polio eradication activities.

 

Minister said that though most of Pakistan is Polio-free, we are mindful of the fact that leaving even one reservoir unattended is like giving a lease of life to poliovirus to replicate and infect rest of the areas.

 

She added that we do not have any option but to ensure highest quality polio campaigns specifically in the reservoir areas and generally elsewhere. I am sure that this workshop has significantly contributed towards making sound operational work plans for the 12 most important districts. Success in these districts would be critical” She said.

 

Federal Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination in line with its mandate as the executing agency for the Polio Emergency Program has been making every effort to ensure that there is uninterrupted flow of resources to sustain the Polio campaigns across the country. Our Ministry has been working closely with the security establishment to surmount the unprecedented challenge faced by our brave workers. 

 

We must ensure that there is zero tolerance with regard to implementation of NEAP. The Provincial EOC Coordinators must strive hard to ensure that all missed areas and households are identified and covered by the teams “Minister said”.

She said now business is not as usual. Government and partners at all levels should come together to ensure that we see the high season through with optimal level of immunization services and are well prepared for the next low season. Each of us has a role to play in this regard.

 

Prime Minister Focal Person Ms. Ayesha Raza Farooq said even though visible progress was made last year, yet the risk of continued transmission of polio virus was real and required integrated efforts from all partners. She emphasized that unique problems require solutions and detailed district-wise plans for 12 tier-1 districts were prepared taking into account the local needs. She appreciated the efforts undertaken by the provincial governments and current challenges being faced by the provinces and districts during implementation process of polio eradication activities. “The plan for coming season has been prepared in light of the lessons learned during the last year. I want to remind all that polio will be eradicated at the district and UC level.” She specifically praised the polio workers who lost their lives for the cause. She also emphasized that validation of micro plans, missed children, tracking migrant population, and quality surveillance were specifically focused in the national plan.