Kudos for Pak polio turnaround by International Monitors

April 30, 2015

 Islamabad, April 30, 2015:         The meeting of International Monitoring Board on Polio that concluded on Thursday at Abu Dhabi observed that Pakistan deserved kudos for effecting a major turnaround in the polio situation. Political commitment, ingenuity and a determination to change the course of events, has enabled Pakistan convert challenges into opportunities was the observation of members of the Independent Monitoring.

 

Pakistan has gained access in all inaccessible areas of FATA and other parts of the country. Chair of the Independent Monitoring Board Sir Liam Donaldson made specific mention of the creative responses by the country to challenges like mass exodus of population from North Waziristan, by conducting successful large scale transit vaccinations, introduction of Injectable polio campaigns and systematic and thorough engagement of Ulema. Innovations like health camps and involvement of female community volunteers to improve access into resistant communities was also recognized by IMB members. “Pakistan has come out of very difficult situation” remarked IMB members. Support of the armed forces and a well thought out security strategy were critical to resumption of campaigns in security compromised areas.

 Minister for National Health Services Saira Afzal Tarar and Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq, Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Polio Eradication represented Pakistan in the crucial meeting alongwith Coordinator of National Emergency Operation Centre and Provincial Secretaries of Health.

 

Going Forward the IMB recommended expended and tailored approaches and strategies specific to different communities.

 

The committee of international monitors also gave a nod to Pakistan’s strategic shift in targeting missed children through new and innovative strategies.