Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday launched a three-day nationwide anti-polio campaign by administering polio drops to children.
During a ceremony, the prime minister emphasized the importance of the drive to overcome the recent resurgence of polio cases in the country.
He acknowledged that floods during the summer had disrupted previous efforts, but praised the dedication and hard work of polio workers.
The premier also acknowledged that Pakistan is one of the few countries where polio cases have resurfaced, but a few years ago, during the tenure of Nawaz Sharif, these cases were completely eradicated.
He also mentioned that 20 cases of polio were reported from Waziristan, but were controlled and did not spread to other areas.
He praised the sacrifices of the front-line workers and law enforcement agencies personnel who lost their lives in the fight to eradicate the disease.
He expressed his conviction that all the provincial and federal governments will continue to collaborate to eradicate the disease forever.
The premier also mentioned that the resurfacing of a few cases had raised concerns among partners such as the Bill Gates Foundation, World Health Organization (WHO) and other stakeholders.
He also stated that during a telephone conversation, Bill Gates had expressed his commitment to support the government’s efforts to eliminate the disease.
PM Shehbaz also expressed his gratitude to the WHO, stakeholders, related departments, law enforcement personnel and the daughters of the nation for their continuing efforts and commitments.
He mentioned that he had held meetings with the federal health ministry officials and others, and that the federal and provincial governments were all supporting these efforts.
He expressed confidence that they would control the disease with collective efforts.
The premier also presented certificates to the best-performing polio workers.