Donors, partners discuss path forward for Polio eradication.

ISLAMABAD -- Partners of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and Donors met here Wednesday to assess the needs of the Pakistan Polio Programme and discuss the path forward for eradication.

Talking to the country representatives and global polio partners, Minister for National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination Abdul Qadir Patel said that the children of Pakistan were in need of more support than ever.

'The current humanitarian crisis in the country has affected at least 16 million children. In these times, it is more crucial than ever to protect them from the risk of lifelong paralysis caused by polio,' he said.

Representatives from donor countries reaffirmed their commitment and said it was because of years of support to global polio eradication efforts that the world is now over 99 percent polio-free. More efforts need to be made for Pakistan and Afghanistan to make the final push and eliminate the disease from the world.

This year, polio endemic countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan, have had 22 children paralyzed by wild polio. In Pakistan, 17 polio cases have been reported from North Waziristan alone, with the last case confirmed in a 10-month boy by the National Institute of Health on Wednesday.

'Despite the number of wild poliovirus cases in southern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, the programme has managed to protect children from...

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