Polio eradication: Iran offers free vaccines to Pakistan, Afghanistan



Iran has stated that it is ready to offer free anti-polio vaccines to Pakistan and Afghanistan, in an effort to help them effectively continue the fight against the crippling disease.

An Iranian delegation comprising health ministry and medical education officials arrived here on Monday for three days, to explore options of extending cooperation to Pakistan.

The delegation is led by Dr Mohsin Asadi Lari, special assistant for international affairs to the health minister. Other delegates include Dr Mahmood Reza Miribanjar, Vice Chancellor for Zahidan Medical University in Iran and Dr Akbar Abdullahi Asal, head of Federal Drugs Regulatory Agency of Iran. The delegation also included Fereshte Zeraati, who is director of communicable diseases at the health ministry.

A senior official at the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation, and Coordination (NHSRC) wishing not to be named, said the Iranian delegation will hold a meeting with Health Minister Saira Afzal Tarar. The delegation was expected to meet other international donor agencies on Tuesday (today) to offer its support as well.

Since Iran produces a significant quantity of polio vaccines, it is keen to provide the same to both countries, most likely free of charge.