The high level delegation of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and donor partners of the Lives and Livelihoods Fund (LLF) confirmed their commitment towards supporting the Government of Pakistan in their cause of fighting against polio during a two day visit in Pakistan.
The LLF has prioritized the eradication of polio and contributed over US$ 100 million to the Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme.
The financial assistance provided by the IsDB and the LLF has enabled the programme to strengthen various areas of work, including operations, surveillance, vaccine procurement, social mobilization and communications. Strengthening these areas of work has made the Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme more adaptable and responsive to the dynamic and rapidly changing polio eradication environment.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Dr. Zafar Mirza said “We appreciate the long standing partnership with the Islamic Development Bank and the Lives and Livelihoods Fund collaborators. Over the years we have come to count on them to keep up against the fight for a polio free Pakistan. Beyond financial support, they have supported us in the advocacy to overcome religious refusals and highlighting vaccines efficacy and safety”.
LLF and IsDB team visited the outskirts of Islamabad Capital Territory and participated in the nationwide vaccination campaign which started on December 16, 2019, during which 39.5 million children under the age of five were vaccinated.
Delegation also visited the National Emergency Operations Centre where the National Coordinator, Dr. Rana Muhammad Safdar briefed it on the current Polio situation and the country’s plan to transform the programme during 2020.
Delegation highly appreciated the reinvigorated commitment of the Government of Pakistan to take the initiative forward as shared priority across the political divide. It also acknowledged the unprecedented support of the civilian and military law enforcement agencies to the noble cause and expressed confidence that the strong country programme would soon turn the situation around, as it had done previously after the 2014 upsurge.
Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme implements high quality vaccination campaigns that reach children across Pakistan. These campaigns are implemented by more than 265,000 frontline health workers who go door-to-door to make sure that each and every child is administered with the polio vaccine. This protects them from the crippling poliovirus.
At the same time, the programme undertakes highly sensitive surveillance, detection and response activities to track and limit virus transmission across the country. Moreover, communication and social mobilization activities which encourage health seeking behaviors amongst communities are implemented.