A Pakistani child is being vaccinated against polio. Image Credit: Supplied

Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday ordered to launch polio immunisation and awareness campaigns at federal and provincial levels.

Chairing a high-level meeting here at the PM Office to take stock of the reported spike in polio cases in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and other parts of the country, the prime minister said polio eradication was a top priority of the government.


polio cases have been detected during this year

Imran stressed robust Ehsaas-Polio eradication partnership for synergised implementation of the two vital programmes.

The meeting was attended by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mehmood Khan, Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan, Special Assistant to PM on Health Dr Zafar Mirza, PM’s focal person on polio eradication Babar Bin Atta, Engineer-in-chief of Pakistan Army Lt. Gen. Moazzam Ejaz, Canadian High Commissioner Wendy Gilmore, Federal Secretary Health, Chief Secretaries of Punjab, KPK, Sindh and Balochistan, representatives from Unicef, WHO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and senior officials.

The PM’s adviser Babar Atta briefed the meeting about the recent polio cases and the future strategy for polio eradication.

We have to ensure that we reach all children with multiple doses of vaccination before this dangerous
polio virus reaches unprotected children.

- National Emergency Operations Centre for Polio Eradication

He also updated about the report of International Monitoring Board for the year 2017-18, identifying loopholes in the strategy at that time, which led to a rise in polio cases in some parts of the country, especially Bannu division.

The new strategy aims to achieve eradication, ownership at the highest level and accountability at operational level.

Babar Atta listed various measures being taken for perception management, including engagement with social media platforms to counter anti-vaccine propaganda, involving mainstream media for mass awareness campaign, establishment of 24/7 call centre and publicising environment or human cases.


polio cases out of 53 have been reported from Khyber region

Pakistan Army representative assured full support to polio teams in their efforts to reach out to the children in far-flung areas of the country.

Representatives of international partners and donors also assured their continued cooperation to the Government of Pakistan in its polio eradication mission.