First Islamic Advisory Group holds conference on polio eradication

First Islamic Advisory Group and Executive Board meetings were held on Feb. 25-28 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to discuss polio eradication across the Muslim world.

The meetings were attended by the International Islamic Development Bank, IAG, WHO, UNICEF and the Ministry of Health of Saudi Arabia.

WHO said the group was expected to join forces in support of polio eradication, assist in implementing public education programs about the safety of oral polio vaccine, and create guidelines for education about immunization.

The group discussed social mobilization and communication programs, as well as regional and country-wide polio eradication programs to improve the rate of immunization.

The meeting was held at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. At the meeting, experts presented an analysis of the latest polio trends and challenges in polio eradication in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Somalia.

Islamic scholars issued a declaration that reflected the commitment to support countries where polio is still an issue.

The conference is part of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. The initiative began in 1988, when a resolution to eradicate polio was adopted by the Regional Committee for the Eastern Mediterranean. The project is a partnership with national governments and the WHO, UNICEF, the U.S. center for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta and Rotary International.