Thursday, 13 August, 2020


Govt prepared plan to make Pakistan Polio free: Dr. Zafar

A boy receives polio vaccination drops during an anti-polio campaign in Kabul Afghanistan Govt prepared plan to make Pakistan Polio free: Dr. Zafar
Patty Aguilar | 21 November, 2019, 16:11

Cases have been cut by 99 percent over the last three decades, but the type 1 polio virus is still endemic in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

He appreciated the efforts of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, who pledged on Tuesday US$160 million for global polio eradication efforts.

Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that by seeking to reach "every last child" with vaccines against the crippling viral disease, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) is coming ever closer to achieving a polio-free world.

"We are proud to host the GPEI pledging moment in Abu Dhabi and thank all the attendees for their continued commitment to the eradication of polio", said Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Cabinet Member and Minister of State for International Cooperation. The other strain was certified as wiped out in 2015.

UNICEF has been partnering with GPEI for many years in the polio eradication project and around the world works with vaccine manufacturers to procure adequate supplies of competitively priced oral polio vaccines on behalf of national governments for routine immunization and vaccination campaigns.

Polio attacks the nervous system and can cause irreversible paralysis within hours.

This year, to date, the country has reported 86 polio cases, a 600 per cent jump from last year total of 12 cases. World Health Organization aims to certify Africa as polio-free next year, under the Global Polio Eradication Initiative's "endgame strategy", which culminates in 2023. Because of this historic effort against polio, an estimated 18 million people are walking today who otherwise would have been paralyzed by polio and 1.5 million lives saved. In unvaccinated populations, or in areas where immunity is low and sanitation is poor, the resilient bug can quickly re-emerge and tear through vulnerable populations.

The four-year partnership with the Australian smart home and building automation company is worth AUD$500,000 and will directly support UNICEF's polio eradication work in the Asia Pacific region, and fund oral vaccines for approximately 1.8 million children. The funding includes $1.08 billion from the Gates Foundation, around $514 million from Britain, $215 million from the United States, $160 million from Pakistan and $150 million from the charity Rotary International.

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