Canada recently agreed to further finance polio eradication work in Pakistan during a meeting between Louis Verret, the Canadian High Commission’s senior director of the Afghanistan and Sri Lanka division, and Sen. Ayesha Raza Farooz, the prime minister’s focal person on polio eradication.
The members discussed the first nationwide polio campaign in Pakistan for 2016. The goal is to step up the work that the government of Pakistan is doing to eliminate polio from its public health scene.
“This is indeed a defining moment for the country as we have marked a record progress in the fight against polio and moving ahead with utmost determination to achieve the goal of Polio Free Pakistan in near future,” Farooq said. “Reaching out to each and every eligible child during polio campaign is a key to push the the fight against poliovirus to the ultimate finish line in 2016.”
The leaders also made a visit to the control room of the National Emergency Operations Centre and saw the real-time data board that reports on the campaign's progress.
“The Emergency Polio Eradication program is being led and managed by a dedicated network of emergency operation centers at national and provincial levels and we have thousands of dedicated polio heroes in the field to get us to zero polio case,” Farooq said. “In 2015, there was an 80 percent reduction in polio cases as compared to 2014.'
The delegation was also briefed on the engagement with different stakeholders in the program, including the role of civil society, religious scholars and public representatives.