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Wasim Akram Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Islamabad: The legendary cricketer Wasim Akram has been appointed as Ambassador Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme to create awareness among masses about the crippling disease and muster their support in effective execution of the vaccination drive across the country.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Health Services Regulations and Coordination Dr Zafar Mirza Thursday made formal announcement in this regard after signing an agreement between coordinator Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme and Wasim Akram here.

Wasim Akram will participate in polio vaccination awareness programmes under this agreement, he said while addressing the ceremony. "It is our top priority to protect children from polio. 260,000 polio workers are the true heroes of the polio programme. We shall pledge together to eradicate polio," said Dr Mirza.

Wasim Akram, he said would play a vital role in ending polio from Pakistan. The Pakistan Polio Programme has the best leadership to meet the challenges, Dr Zafar Mirza added.

Speaking on the occasion, Wasim Akram said, "All political parties should play their role in ending polio as all children have the right to be protected from polio virus."

He urged the nation to join the programme in defeating polio. "Two drops of anti-polio vaccine are the only source of prevention," he added.

"Let's pledge to make this country polio-free. Success against polio will be ours," he said.

World Polio Day is celebrated on October 24 every year to pay tribute to polio workers where Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two countries where the polio virus is present.