Pakistan is set to become a polio-free country by the end of this year, according to UNICEF Country Representative in Pakistan Angela Kearney.
Eliminating polio has remained a national emergency. To completely eradicate polio, the Polio Eradication Initiative (PEI) was undertaken, which highlighted that the quality and coverage of these campaigns was far too low.
Improvements were made in terms of raising awareness, standards and allocation of money, which has put Pakistan today on the brink of becoming a polio-free nation.
While talking to Radio Pakistan, in a program of news and current affairs, Angela disclosed that there were 309 cases of polio in Pakistan in 2014 and the number has gone down drastically to 17 this year.
She also mentioned that in 2014, around five hundred thousand children did not have access to the polio drop. Due to never ending efforts to eradicate polio, it is a proud moment for the country.
WHO’s representative for Pakistan, Dr Michel Thieren said,
“We are very close. A handful of cases [were] noticed this year – about 11 in Pakistan and I think about five in Afghanistan.
“This is the lowest toll of cases in history. We expect to be within months of polio elimination in Pakistan.”
It takes coordinated and collaborative efforts to achieve a goal, said UNICEF country head, while referring to the international organization and the government of Pakistan.
Perry John Calderwood, High Commissionaire to Canada for Pakistan, said that now the country needs to focus on allocating resources for the development of these children.