‘KP achieves target to stop wild polio virus circulation’

  • TAG Chairman Jean Marc says crippling disease to soon be wiped out of South Asian region

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Secretary Naveed Baloch showed full commitment for polio eradication initiative, saying that various provincial oversight bodies established for polio eradication meet regularly to ensure that the programme stays on track and the goal of stopping wild polio virus circulation by the year-end is achieved.

He said this during his meeting with Jean Marc, chairman of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG), the apex global body for the Polio Eradication Initiative (PEI), here at his office. The chief secretary said that he would chair meeting of the provincial task force next week wherein the progress would be reviewed with focus on the issue of persistent wild virus circulation in the environment.

Jean Marc thanked the chief secretary for the commitment and for leading the programme from the front and hoped that the crippling disease would soon be wiped out of the region. The TAG chairman visited the Emergency Operations Centre where he was briefed on updated status of the programme by Coordinator Abid Khan Wazir while Deputy Commissioner Imran Sheikh briefed him on the Peshawar Emergency Action Plan.

Speaking on the occasion, Jean Marc appreciated the Peshawar Emergency Action Plan, calling it the right approach to identify issues at the grass root level that were creating major hurdles in purging the environment of polio virus and reaching the goal of the polio-free region. The TAG chairman also underscored the need for provision of essential immunization services and better sanitation conditions.

He appreciated EOC and the district administration for working in close coordination in pointing out the lingering issues and addressing them jointly. Jean Marc also visited the Shaheen Muslim Town, one of the high risk union councils of Peshawar where he met with the teams and other field staff.

Health Services Director General Dr Ayub Rose, Deputy Commissioner Imran Sheikh, EPI Director Dr Akram Shah, UNICEF team leader John Agbor, WHO team leader Dr Abdi Nasir, BMGF technical focal person Dr Imtiaz Ali Shah, Dr Ijaz Ali Shah and relevant staff of the district administration and partner staff were present on the occasion.